Every Wednesday and Saturday, you are warmly invited to help to take care of the crops in the Proeftuin.
Starting October 2012 a group of students from the United World College in Maastricht will be working on a project in the Sphinxpark. Together with designer Debra Solomon and her studio Urbaniahoeve they shall work on a project around urban agriculture in the Sphinxpark.
From the early days of the Sphinpark photographer Tineke Kambier has been visiting the park on an almost regular basis. The pictures she takes form an extensive and detailed visual document of the Sphinxpark.
Have a look at the photos here.
Wednesday September 19 a group of children looked, together with the IVN Maastricht, through the eyes of animals at the Sphinxpark during their City nature safari.
You can find a photo report here.
The third and last edition of Piquenique Electronique in the Sphinxpark was yet another great succes. In the autumn sun around 500 people enjoyed jamsessions, dj's and their picknick.
Have a look at photos of all Piqueniques here.
Even after it burned down the wooden Maurer-pavilion that formerly stood in the Sphinxpark still kept some of it's beauty. Unfortunately nothing is left of it. Maurer United Architects and Studio Stad, both architects involved in the Sphinxpark project will bow their heads over a new (flame resistant) pavilion for the park.
Friday September 7 the first pole was placed for the work of Studio Stad; a new project in the Sphinxpark. In their work 'Lost Formwork' Studio Stad makes the history and the future of the Sphinpark terrain visible.
The last days of August the Sphinxpark was transformed into an open air cinema (in cooperation with Lumière Cinema). On August 30 the documentary Queen of the Sun was shown, with an introduction by the Bee Collective. On September 1st the movie Microcosmos played, with as a supporting programme, a classical concert from Polish-Italian string orchestra Il Giardino d'Amore.
You'll find more images here.
Landscape in Perspective
At the request of the Provincial Executive of Limburg, Marres Projects has developed the program Landscape in Perspective in collaboration with NAiM/Bureau Europa and SKOR. This agenda-setting project has both a cultural historical focus and an innovative vision. The latter is the outcome of a process in which the government, in this case the Province of Limburg, assumes the role of commissioner.
This shift from condition-setting funding authority to active partner with a specific question and ambition results in an R&D policy with both a cultural and a social value. In developing the program, Marres Projects and Bureau Europa took the policy of the Province as starting point. This approach is not only reflected in addressing cultural and artistic issues, but also in formulating possible answers concerning questions as population decline, durability, agricultural development and the relationship between city and countryside; themes that are eminently part of the social processes in our society.
Colophon & Contact
Programme Director: Brigitte Bloksma
Head of Production: Floor Krooi
Editor: Margot Krijnen
Team Sphinxpark: Loes van Oort
Design website: Karen Willey
Technical realisation website: Systemantics
Culture and nature connected
Connecting culture to landscape? That doesn’t make sense! What is the added value? Doesn’t the Limburg landscape speak for itself already?
The initiative of setting up a two-year programme on landscape and culture in the Provincial Government could count on surprised reactions, but those were an even greater incentive to prove the considerable added value of this combination.
The landscape offers many perspectives that can be highlighted with culture, such as the walker, the landscape architect, the tourist, the photographer. In turn, culture offers the landscape great perspective by translating the intention and the benefit of the landscape.
We are not talking about initiatives that just happen to take place in a certain spot in the landscape. It’s all about connecting, the role of the landscape in the cultural message and the cultural face of that specific piece of landscape.
When Marres and Bureau Europa first came to the Province to jointly establish the connection between culture and landscape, we reflected together about the way to shape this. Quite unique to develop the content of a project together with two cultural institutions. Mostly, the Province receives finished project proposals and we give our approval for their realization, provided they fit in the provincial framework.
This project required specific substantive involvement and did not fit in the framework at the time and it was a challenge to defend it internally. That took some effort and convincing, but also this time it turned out that the cooperation with partners Marres and Bureau Europa truly reinforced when meeting this challenge. The partnership of a governmental organization with two cultural institutions, not just as a financer but also as a substantive partner, has definitely proven its success and has led to a different mindset regarding the relation with institutions. A government can truly work in a different way and will also have to do that with a view to the future.
Now, almost three years later, we see many more connections between culture and other sectors: culture&economy, culture&tourism, culture&nature. Is it the result of the overall crisis? Sometimes a crisis offers opportunities to broaden our Minds and realize the added value of connections that appear illogical at first sight. Within the Province, it has definitely resulted in the programme trajectory ‘Naturally culture’ in the new Culture Policy 2013-2016. That, I am glad to say, assures the connection landscape and culture definitely for the upcoming four years.
In his masterpiece Faust, Goethe wrote “Where is the road? – No road? Onwards into the unknown”. He wrote this in the same time that Caspar David Friedrich painted The Wanderer above the sea of fog. Both saw the wanderer and his walk as the discoverer of the landscape and thus of the self. The figure wanderer is invaluable to culture, since it is inseparable from the historical conception of the landscape.
The recently published Wanderbuch allows you to go on a contemporary Wanderschaft. This publication is the first in a series of routes that Marres Projects initiates in 2012 and 2013 within the context of the project The Wanderer, part of the long-term programme Landscape in Perspective. This differentiated programme is a collaboration between cultural institutions, governments and research institutes, and arises from an interest for the variety of perspectives on the landscape.
The project The Wanderer focuses on the historical background of the phenomenon ‘wandering’ and traces different guises of the wanderer, such as the Pilgrim, the Infantryman, the Tourist or the Travelling Craftsmen. In the route that you can walk with the publication, you follow in the footsteps of the wanderer as the travelling journeyman in relation to the almost forgotten German tradition of the Wanderschaft.
The travelling journeymen Birgit Bertram and Guus van Engelshoven take you on a hike through the Dutch-German border area and introduce you to specific local techniques and knowledge. You will encounter these unique stories on your route along, amongst others, the St. Catharinakapel of Old Lemiers or the Benedictine Monastery in Mamelis.
The Wanderbuch is available at Marres Books and presents a hiking route of 3 approximately 3 hours. I wish you the best of luck on this special journey and hope to meet you on your Wanderschaft!
No matter how well thought out in advance, putting together a symposium, a film programme or, in this case, an exhibition will always be a work-in-progress. Not only because of new insights, but also by the obstacles that inevitably have to be overcome. Especially when a person or work is unexpectedly unavailable, this leads to questions: is there an interesting alternative that will leave the envisioned red thread intact? Often, this is where serendipity enters, you’re looking for one thing and find another, which usually leads to a more interesting and layered outcome. I’ve learned to trust in this and sometimes consciously distance myself from an initial idea. As I was taught at the academy: do not paint around the beautiful pieces.
De Wandelaar is a somewhat heterogeneous exhibition where two lines meet. A landscape consists, apart from its abiotic geomorphology and the traces of how it is used, of the frame through which it is seen. The exhibition covers a number of places where some unexpected factors constitute such frames. The sense of place is adjusted. The second line consists of works by artists who present different guises of the wanderer (and the landscape).
Not included in the exhibition are the Fossa Eugeniana, a largely unknown seventeenth-century canal between the Meuse and Rhine in the Euregion, dug by the Spaniards to break the economic supremacy of the Republic. Or the Esperanto-state of Neutral Moresnet, which made Vaals into a Four Country Point in the early 20th-century. Each in itself worthy of an art project, but too comprehensive within the scope of this exhibition.
In the visually not very spectacular work Higgs LHC CERN, Gianni Motti walks for 27 kilometers in a regular pace, referring to the length of the tunnel containing the famous particle accelerator. It is a beautiful metaphor for the timelessness of man, for his limited physical abilities and his most abstract scientific achievements. More than what man already knows continues to transcend his observation and comprehension. Motti’s work represents nothing less than a contemporary sublime, taking over the baton from the wanderer of Romanticism. Motti, thank you for your participation. Shortly after, the Higgs particle became world news. Fortunately I can still refer to the story in this place. But it is still a shame.
How to make a programme visible when it is characterised by a great variety of partnerships, target groups and locations? How to show the interrelationships between projects without ignoring their specific context and purpose? How can possible answers to institutional, commercial and governmental issues be clearly communicated to a wide audience?
Based on such considerations, I was approached a few months ago to think about a concept for the website of the long-term programme Landscape in Perspective.
The final website reflects the particular process within this programme, in which cultural institutions take on the role of contractor and examine issues concerning food, vacancy, social participation and sustainability on behalf of various commercial parties and governments.
Like the design of the programme, the website has a specific stratification, in which Marres Projects and NAiM/Bureau Europa have established guidelines and defined several sub-questions at the request of the Provincial Executive of Limburg. Within these sub-projects, new partners have been attracted to further develop the different issues, each with its own agenda and focus.
To reflect the interconnectedness of the subprojects of Landscape in Perspective, the choice was made to bring the individual activities and news items together on the main page of the website. In addition, a blog has been introduced, where each time the perspective of one of the many stakeholders within the programme is presented. This may be the story of a master student of the Design Academy Eindhoven who has developed a new vision on a particular part of Valkenburg, the experiences of a volunteer who helps to maintain the crops in the Proeftuin of the Sphinxpark, or the thoughts of a visitor who has been to one of the exhibitions or symposia that take place within the long-term program. This way, the website gives insight into the variety of positions and perspectives within the project Landscape in Perspective.