Experimental Landscape Project “De Zeevang”
There are two ways to test the reactions on an experimental landscape project, that in its spatial environment as well as in its form and meaning, is incomparable to traditional expressions: read the art critics and talk with and observe the public.
In our society, the public consists of adults and children. The children have an advantage over the adults, as their way of looking is still relatively open, dynamic and multi-dimensional. They do not think primarily in terms of art, money and purpose.
The children have enjoyed themselves intensely. They played, they looked around curiously, they pointed things out to each other and wondered why words covered the roof, four intriguing words: EARTH as experience and EARTH as idea; FIRE as experience and FIRE as idea; WATER as experience and WATER as idea; AIR as experience and AIR as idea. Cosmos as experience and cosmos as idea is not one and the same, but the experience of a cosmos supposes the idea ‘cosmos’ at least intuitively.
The experience of nature is primitive, artificial and of minor importance in our culture, in contrast to e.g. in the Dogon culture. A highly industrialized urban society has a necessarily tensed relationship with nature.
A landscape project as ours is by the same token a consequence of the estranged relationship between people and nature. Each attempt to break through that relationship will itself manifest traces of this conflict. However, if children feel inspired and art critics do not, the perennial problem of renewal repeats itself; art critics know it all and the children don’t. Art critics belong to the ‘therefore-sayers’; children belong to the ‘why-askers’ and ‘why not-askers’. The adults, the ‘therefore-sayers’, raise and teach the ‘why-askers’ and ‘why not-askers’ to become ‘therefore-sayers’. As far as nature and art are concerned, such an educational pattern is a small disaster.
Everything deserves attention, that stimulates a friendlier and more intense relationship between us and nature. Our landscape project had this intention.