Imagination is what it is all about at the Out of the Box exhibition. Visitors will have the opportunity to investigate their spatial awareness: big and small spaces, actual rooms and imaginary spaces using miniature models, show cases and replicas to the real world. Two-dimensional works of art will be on display: maps, photos, films, drawings and collages; that you could easily mistake as three dimensional, purely through the artists’ use of different shapes and different materials. The Out of the Box exhibition blurs the divide between reality and imagination; if only temporarily.
The maps of Désirée de Baar (Ovezande 1972) will certainly require a generous helping of imagination. De Baar has embroidered the contours of buildings on felt, interspersed with scraps of paper – sometimes complete with notes on them – stitched into the contours. Using your mind’s eye, you can only imagine what the buildings are for and what it might be like to live in this imaginary place. When you do, the maps suddenly come to life. De Baar has also created an exhibit for this exhibition made out of unusual materials. It is big enough for visitors to go in to and designed to make them experience, examine and absorb the atmosphere and impressions this work of art evoke.
In her studio in Steyl, The Netherlands, Ingeborg Meulendijks (Helmond 1968) makes scale models and miniatures of buildings that do not actually exist. The interiors are minute, with wooden floors, tiles and furniture to almost the exact same scale and proportions as the ‘real’ thing. Each of the rooms has its own sense of nostalgia combined with a sense of contemplation and simplicity. They remind you of the insides of houses, churches and museums; each one just that little bit different to the other, without being able to put your finger on quite how of why. This part of the exhibition includes photos of these scale models, blown up to full size, giving you the impression of what it would be like inside them. The photos are also accompanied by three short films in which the artist combines images from inside the rooms with images from the outside world. The films transport the viewer into a new reality where you could easily forget you are in a miniature world.
Markus Zimmermann (Hannover 1978) uses shelf units to make his art installations and fills each of the compartments with a collection of peculiar curiosities: stones and minerals and food for example, all for people to admire. Only on closer inspection does it become clear that these objects are made out of unusual materials such as polystyrene, coloured foil and packaging. The artist’s show cases also form a prominent part of his exhibit. Each of the boxes represents a room made out of objects that would not usually be used in art; objects that have no obvious connection to the room they have been used to create.
The light filtering through the semi-transparent lid determines the atmosphere inside the boxes, whereby each has its own surreal and poetic environment. A small collection of drawings and collages accompanies the exhibit, illustrating how the artist has gone about creating these three-dimensional works of art. The collection also includes photos of the insides of the show cases, taken using both traditional photographic techniques as well as camera obscura.
The Out of the Box exhibition is open from 10th July until 30th August 2009 at Museum van Bommel van Dam in Venlo, The Netherlands. The exhibition will be accompanied by a limited-edition book available at the museum’s reception.