Groninger Museum presents Daan Roosegaarde’s first major solo museum show
Presence is based on the idea of the ecological footprint and the impact of human presence on earth. Visitors leave traces in the exhibition, which eventually disappear again to make way for new patterns. Roosegaarde also took inspiration from 1960s and 1970s landscape and environmental art, in which interactivity and a keen sense of the earth’s vulnerability figured heavily. Through interacting with Presence, visitors symbolically experience the theme of humans’ impact on and role in the world.
With its specific use of light and way of responding to visitors, the work is as a dream landscape full of fascinating new possibilities that encourage experimentation. Touching, feeling and moving are essential for experiencing Presence. Walking through the installation, the visitor constantly undergoes shifts in perspective. You feel small in one space, enormous in the next. The work reflects on our involvement with our environment and allows visitors to experience their own presence in a surprising way.
Daan Roosegaarde (b. 1979, Nieuwkoop) is known for his innovative designs for public space, which bring together social design, art and (bio-)technology. He characterises his work as ‘techno-poetry’: a blend of technology and creativity that blurs the boundaries between the humanities and the sciences and, according to the artist, is the engine that drives social change. Working with a team of designers, engineers and project managers, Roosegaarde investigates subjects such as the relationship between humans and technology, between the digital and the physical, and between living and nonliving matter. Natural phenomena such as luminous jellyfish and fireflies fascinate him, and the element of light often plays a key role in his work.
Presence is a pioneering project not only for Roosegaarde but also for the Groninger Museum, with visitors able to actively influence the installation’s appearance. The work experiments with art and design and asks us to redefine what an exhibition is. Visitors change from spectators into makers and from makers into parts of the installation that are subsequently looked at by others visitors. This innovative hybrid show builds on the Groninger Museum’s policy of seeking out the boundaries where art, design, fashion and technology meet.
Exhibition ‘Daan Roosegaarde – Presence’
through 12 January 2020
Curators: Sue-an van der Zijpp andMark Wilson
Photography: Pim Hendriksen, Sije Kingma and Peter Tahl