Landschap in perspectief Landscape in perspective


Mansholt, Landscape in Perspective

18 January – 20 April 2014

Against the background of the current reform of the European Common Agricultural Policy, the exhibition 'Mansholt, Landscape in Perspective' was dedicated to the way agriculture has determined the lay-out and shape of the Dutch landscape after 1945. Hallmark of the exhibition is the work of former minister of agriculture Sicco Mansholt,

Protagonist Sicco Mansholt was a farmer and resistance fighter in the Wieringermeer polder (1938-1945), Minister of Agriculture and Food Supply in six post-war ministries (1945-1958), first Euro commissioner for Agriculture (1958-1973) and later President of the European Commission. (1972-1973).

On the basis of a series of phases the development of Dutch agriculture was presented, as well as the ways this relates to the landscape. Among others: the recovery of inundated landscapes after WWII; the Zuiderzee polders as ideals Agricultural area; the modernization of the countryside by means of reallocation and technological innovation; the increasing influence of recreation and nature conservation, and finally the present-day division in broadened and industrial agriculture.  

At the heart of the exhibition were a series of promotional films of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Supplies, and unique footage of Mansholt’s visits to the American countryside in the fifties. Great attention is given to the irrevocable changes under the influence of mechanization and scaling-up in agriculture.

The exhibition aimed to give the visitor insight in the changing relation between agriculture and landscape and the dilemmas of European Agricultural policy. Issues that relate to the ever growing world population on the one hand and the complexity of the relation between intensive, industrial agriculture, ecological diversity, small-scale initiatives on the other hand. Technological innovation enables precision agriculture:  drones are used for fertilization, seeds and soil are once again further enriched and milk robots become more and more productive. Social and organizational innovation make open source farm hacking and self-harvesting possible. Also, broadened agriculture incorporates matters such as care, various forms of recreation and tourism.  

With many audiovisual materials, the exhibition also gave an overview of the way agriculture has been represented in the course of time. 

This exhibition was realized with:

Curators: Saskia van Stein and Jules Schoonman
Exhibition Design: XML Architecture Research Urbanism
Graphic Design: Simon Davies
Production manager: Buro Floor
Column/edit/research: Gerrie Andela
Essay and research: Peter Veer
Interactive map: Bert Spaan, Waag Society
Video editing: Victor-Zorro
Communication: Margot Krijnen
Translations: Jason Coburn / Guus van Engelshoven
Realization: Inhout and Plan Effect systems

Many thanks to:

The offices involved: DAAD Architecten, Felixx, Lola Landschape and Architecture, van Bergen Kolpa Architecten, Studio Marco Vermeulen, Ester van der Wiel, Marnix Tavenier (and all other designers involved in this project), Sophie Krier and Henriëtte Waal, Christien Meindertsma, Studio Maarten Kolk & Guus Kusters, Benedikt Groβ, De Vrije Akker. All researchers, others and institutions involved: van den Borne Aardappelen, Louis van Gasteren, Henk Wildschut, Ralph Kämena, Peter Menzel, Luc de Groot (LTO Brussel), Anita Blom (RCE), Digna Sinke, Lammert Kooistra, Maria Austria Institute, Studio Aandacht, The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, The Netherlands Fotomuseum, Alfred Marks, The New Institute, The Waag Society, Spaarnestad Photo, The Government Service for Land and Water Management, Internationale Institute of  Social History (IISG), Wageningen University (WUR), ZLTO Limburg, Geert Kits Nieuwenkamp, Ministery of Foreign Affiars (Brussels), Herman Mertens of LLTB (Limburg) and Klaas Schotsman and Albert-Jan Kamphuis (Agriculturalminiature club Netherlands (LCN).

Bureau Europa and Marres are structurally supported by The Municipality of Maastricht and The Province of Limburg. This project is generously supported by The Creative Industries Fund NL.

This exhibition was developed in the programme Landscape in Perspective series, an initiative by Bureau Europa, Marres, House for Contemporary Culture and the Province of Limburg.

The second part of this research will be developed in the fall of 2014 in The New Institute.



1962, Archive Sicco Mansholt
Archive Beeld en Geluid
1957, Photo archive DLG