Ik ben gevraagd om een installatie te maken voor de 2 jaar durende manifestatie Bewegen en Landen in (en rond) het Huis voor Cultuur en Bestuur in Nijverdal, Gemeente Hellendoorn. De installatie moet inspelen op de (cultuur)historie van de Gemeente Hellendoorn. Op deze weblog is mijn werk- en denkproces te volgen. Start van het project: november 2011. (Begin helemaal onderdaan als je het werkproces vanaf het begin wil inzien.)

I have been asked to make an installation for a two-year project titled "Moving and Landing" in (and around) the House of Culture and Administration in Nijverdal, district of Hellendoorn (the Netherlands). On this weblog, I'm writing about this project in Dutch (which is the language spoken in the district of Hellendoorn). You can find some information about the project in English here .

maandag 1 augustus 2011

The Church-Tent/The Tent-Church

Wandering through the district of Hellendoorn I was wondering if there is a building that symbolises the district. A building with a history. A building that might not exist anymore. A castle maybe or a manor, from the time when the written sources start talking about a district called Hellendoorn.

I already knew what building dominated the last century. It is located in Nijverdal and it is one of the reasons why Nijverdal became the administrative centre of the district. Nijverdal, in origin a textile-village, came into being when the Dutch Trade Organisation chose this location for the transit of the so called “callicots”, cotton fabrics. The founder of the warehouse, located at the crossing between the river Regge and the new road to the city of Almelo, founded a weaving mill as well. Later on, these building were destroyed and rebuild by the Royal Steam Weavery. These days the famous and worldwide operating company Ten Cate is located in the old factory buildings. They are still into textiles but in a completely different way. Ten Cate develops innovative products using textile technologies. They develop materials for space travel, fireproof materials, artificial fiels for stadiums and outdoor fabrics. These days they are located all around the world. The factory in Nijverdal specialises in outdoor fabrics. Material for tents.

Back to the origin of Hellendoorn. Which wasn’t too difficult to find since the building is still standing. It is the old church of the village of Hellendoorn. Apparently this church was constructed in the second half of the 12th century. It was the only church in the area and therefore visited by people from neighbouring settlements. The village of Hellendoorn became the most important village and gave its name to the whole area: the district of Hellendoorn.

These days the church looks very different from the original building, although the biggest part of the original church still forms the centre of the present building. With the help of the local historical society, the “Historische Kring Hellendoorn/Nijverdal” I managed to get a pretty clear picture of what the first church looked like. I decided to reconstruct this church, the building that formed the origin of the district of Hellendoorn, in material that was produced by the Ten Cate factories, the company which carries the district of Hellendoorn into the future.

I will sew a Church-Tent or Tent-Church. Ten Cate will provide me with the material to make it and the Church-Tent will carry an official Ten Cate label. The Church-Tent itself isn’t the final goal. It is a container. It contains the history, the present and the future of the district of Hellendoorn. It is build in communication with Ten Cate, with the sexton of the church and the Historical Society Hellendoorn/Nijverdal. Since churches used to be build with the help of the community, the Church/Tent will be transported by foot from location to location (once every six months) by the local communities. They will carry it on a wagon and transport it to the next village where the Tent/Church will be welcomed end erected by volunteers from the “new” village. Video documentation of the Tent/Church travelling from village to village will be presented in the Church/Tent.

Practical detail: since the installation has to fit on a 2 x 3 meter platform, it won’t be a very big Tent/Church. First sketches can be found here and here.

In 2012 I will explore the border of the district of Hellendoorn with the Church/Tent. In 6 to 10 days I will travel as exact as possible along the invisible line which forms the border. Every night I will build up the Church/Tent and sleep in it. During the exploration, I will document the things and people I encounter. A first three-day scouting expedition (with a “normal” tent) was executed in September 2011. Video images of this expedition will follow soon here.

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