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eye-pers1On February 14 EYE’s front facade will turn into a podium for Soil in my Pocket: two related  film essays about the longings and dreams of migrants of the past.

Not so long ago scores of Dutch emigrants left the Netherlands in the hope of building a better future elsewhere. In the first half of the twentieth century, the quay in front of EYE’s building was the place where friends and family got together to say goodbye to these adventurous spirits. The film essays are compiled on the basis of unique film material from EYE’s collection featuring scenes of migration. They are encounters, as it were, with migrants who left the Netherlands a hundred years ago. Time and space come together in a new way.

The première is part of the EYE on art programme with a Q&A on Soil in my Pocket by film critic Anna Abrahams. The installation can be viewed after sunset until March 7 2017.

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Soil in my Pocket is a Lumen Film production, in co-production with EYE. The installation was partly funded by the Mondriaan Fonds and the AFK.

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filmstill-soil-siteIn the next coming months we will be researching in the archive of EYE Film Institute. We are looking for films on migration from Amsterdam to the South, in early 1900. With the Koninklijke Hollandsche Lloyd many migrants left via the IJ water to South America. Leaving everything behind in Europe, hoping to find a brighter future elsewhere.

It will be a multiscreen installation, both at the outside of the impressive EYE building, along the IJ water as well as at the inside glass facade, overlooking the IJ water. The installation will run from February 14 – March 7 2017.

We will collaborate with Miek Zwamborn (text), Peter Claassen (video editing), Lumen Film (production). With the support of the Mondriaan Fund and the Amsterdam Fund of the Arts.

Belgian philosopher Ann Meskens wrote a beautiful essay on our work:

There is always more than one view.

There is always more than the here and now.

Each place slowly layers time over time. Stories are embedded into a place, they pile themselves up, disappear beneath other stories or are made visible again. This is how the history of a place forms itself. The stories go back further than is immediately visible at first glance.

Each place also refers to other places, just like a map where the furthest away places are linked with a single pencil line. Look, there is ‘here’ the need to leave, and listen, there is ‘there’, the hope of arriving somewhere. These are the personal stories that span the world in one movement and establish a human distance.

Leaving, wanting to go away, being on the way, being delayed, not being able to return, arriving. By showing, collecting and telling, life stories are made visible and audible. Word, photo and film capture the fleeting present, and so later, as if of their own accord, they will also become memories of the old days, traces of the past.

In this way, as an artist you bring time and space together in a new way, you compose connections and distinctions, you make other time layers visible, you create new spaces. By doing so, you hope to end up in a new place where the stories can resonate again and at different levels of intensity.

Ultimately you hope for more than one view and then for more insight.

As an artist, that is essentially what you hope the viewer will see.

 

 

We did a successful projection, September 10 2013!:

Past and present will be intertwined in a one time projection of two minutes on a passing cruise ship on Amsterdam’s IJ waterfront.

Visual artists Ellert Haitjema and Judith Quax will project a short film onto a passing cruise ship: archive images of migrants who left Amsterdam by the IJ water for South America hundred years ago. With this project the subject of migration is being presented in a new light.

The projection will be visible as the ship sails into view, allowing past and present to intertwine.

It can be seen from the quay in front of EYE Film Institute on Tuesday September 10 at 21:00. Sandra den Hamer, CEO EYE will welcome you and will give a brief introduction.

We did a succesful try out in August:

Thanks to: Amsterdam Fund for the Arts, Sem Presser Archive, EYE Film Institute, Beam Systems.

On the tree by the entrance of the Hilton hotel in Amsterdam, the passer-by sees a continuous, steady stream of names of African men, moving up the trunk and branches: to emphasize the continuity of the phenomenon that is immigration.

The same intervention has been presented at the Dak’art Biennale at the French Institute in Dakar, Senegal, May 2012.