Bijlmer Years Pinhole Photos

Thérèse Zoekende and Patrick Koster, Bijlmer Years 1989-1997, mixed media

Thérèse Zoekende (NL, 1972) and Patrick Koster (NL, 1967) are occasional collaborating artists. For the exhibition “Ode to the Bijlmer” in CBK Zuidoost they made the work “Bijlmer Years 1989-1997” in which they bring their shared Bijlmer past to life in a confidential picture story. Twenty-nine years ago, as Rietveld Art Academy students, they came to live in this urban district, which they were forced to leave nine years later due to urban renewal. In their former Bijlmer habitat, frequently the subject of their artistic work, they experienced a significant part of their personal and artistic training.

The “Bijlmer Years 1989-1997” project is a mixed-media installation consisting of videos with sound, photos and lightboxes that show the Bijlmer in its authentic state. The basis of the project was largely laid in the nineties of the last century, years that also formed a kind of turning point for the district. The downturn had bottomed out. Due to the major crime, drug nuisance and general social problems, it started to seem that the progressive urban design concept of the Bijlmer as a “utopian city” could be an illusion, a dystopia. Amsterdam decided in July 1992 to start the large-scale project “Renovation Bijlmermeer” that breaks with the original ideas of the architects of the Bijlmer.

“Bijlmer Years 1989-1997” is an artistic video and photo project consisting of almost fossil images of the Bijlmer. This district was completed fifty years ago, and after 25 years it was already largely history. The images of the project are also only thirty years old and, like the old Bijlmer, belong to the almost forgotten past. For example, conversations with young residents of the new Kraaiennest show that they have never heard of the Koningshoef apartment. The project is made from the insider point of view and makes it tangible what it was like to have lived and lived in the old Bijlmer.

CollabThérèse ZoekendeOn viewCBK-Zuidoost | 2018

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