hout en beton
Laan van Wateringseveld, Den Haag
52.031364029564, 4.2864002221985 View on map
You come across them along the long wide water that is central to the Hoge Veld neighbourhood in Wateringse Veld. Words and phrases like: 'loosened', 'tomorrow I will wait for him' and 'sloshed clean' have been cast and milled into the quay walls and wooden decking. Sometimes poetic, sometimes crystal clear, sometimes downright incomprehensible. Without any defined meaning, they offer everyone who spends time on this water enough to muse about.
The idea for these words along the water came from Marjan Schoenmakers. In her work, the encounter with the other is crucial. To this end, she enters into conversation with people. Such conversations are about the location where the conversation takes place and about what connects that person to that place. Sometimes, afterwards, she publishes fragments of the conversations in booklets in a special way.
In Wateringse Veld, too, Schoenmakers talked to residents. She distilled various words and phrases from them, which she then made public not in a booklet but along the water. She mixed the words from these conversations with words from her 'Vocabulary of Delight', a collection of found words that Schoenmakers has been working on for years.
The world-famous German artist Joseph Beuys (1921-1986) was the first to introduce the phenomenon of social sculpture in the 1960s. His basic assumption was that every person is an artist and can shape his or her own environment. Although Schoenmakers in a certain sense builds on Beuys, there are also major differences. In Schoenmaker's work, the emphasis seems to lie on the encounters themselves. She does not always translate the experience into a tangible work of art. This applies, for example, to an earlier project that Schoenmakers realised in The Hague for 'De Bocht van Guinee', a project by Stroom in 1993. For this project, she held interviews with residents under The Hague trees.