Toy Matchbox ‘Snow Trac’ and a real ‘Snow Cat’. Rothera, Antarctica.
The last Artist’s residency I did before this one was in the Antarctic. Precious and relatively inaccessible, culturally it is similar to the moon in the sense that for many people it still invokes feelings of mystery and wonder. This mystic has the ability to be transferred into everyday objects. The mere fact that an object has been to the Antarctic- no matter whether it is a flag or dish cloth- comes back a strangely authentic object “that has been to the Antarctic”. As part of that residency I wanted to play with this empowering authentication by taking pretend Antarctic things there with me. I took a pathetic collection of Antarctic toys - Anything from plastic penguins to toy representations of Antarctic vehicles. I documented these artificial Antarctic objects in the real Antarctic and they became “real pretend” Antarctic objects. The toys blurred the line between the real and the artificial. Their small scale contrasted with the vast landscape of Antarctica.
In my Badgast residency my intention was to continue to investigate these aspects of toys/models but use the sea as the “real” dramatic backdrop for my visual experiments. Before my arrival in Scheveningen I had just started to work on a technique using pocket projectors to bounce moving images by a series of mirrors from out of small toy cars.
The 'Beam Bus' and screen on the side of the accomodation container which is on top of the studio shipping container.
The accommodation and studio space for the 'Badgast' residency is in two shipping containers- one on top of the other. Another unusual aspect is an old van with a projector inside it owned by 'Satelliet Groep'. With a screen fixed to the side of one of the containers, it is used for regular film screenings. The artist in residence is also obliged to use it for a presentation about their work at the end of their stay. The 'Beam Bus' was in effect a life size version of what I was making. In this sense it became the starting point for my project and I arrived with a bag full of toy vans that were going to be my miniature representations of it.
The intention was to somehow launch these minatures into the abyss of the sea then retrieve them so that I could use them to project the films of themselves being sent off on their journey. In each film the toy disappears but is still there in front of the viewer projecting the image of itself. It becomes a visual paradox.
My plan was to display the toy vans projecting their tiny films inside the real 'beam bus. I intended this to be on the same evening as my obligatory lecture about my work outside on the big screen. On the night of my lecture sadly it rained. I had to give the presentation inside the shipping container that I had been working in. (see film below).
Film Thijs Molenaar, The Videomatic. (2 mins. 8 secs.)
Links to individual works. The first link will take you to a short text by Jacqueline Heerema