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The landscape of North Holland is often perceived as natural. But the truth is – it is as artificial as it gets. Entirely manmade, it is an important part of our cultural heritage. Moreover, this cultural construct, largely shaped by agriculture, can be considered a monument. Several factors threaten its status today: vast housing developments, insufficient agricultural growth, extensive industrial construction, recreational expansion, traffic and, most importantly, the lack of concern of the citizens.
The latter aspect is, perhaps, the most worrying: the feeling of non-involvement leads to indifference towards future developments. The North Holland Biennale seeks to address citizen awareness through the works of contemporary designers, architects, visual artists and photographers. Their approach is sometimes a critical analysis, a lyrical homage or an ironical statement. But that is not all: the question is turned to the citizens themselves: what do you, the North Hollanders, young and old, believe to be important?
How can we, in our current social and economic reality, also respect the environment? Will the entire North Holland become one big industrial terrain or a recreational parc? What are the economical benefits for farmers apart from their contribution to nature preservation? Where and how do we want to live in this monument? The possible answers to these questions, as we shall see, are often full of contradictions and thereby create new questions.
NH DISAPPEARS challenges you with them and does so through five exhibitions spread out between different locations, all coverable within one day. Each covers one sub-topic:
NH VERTRUT (NH in a Fuss) dealing with housing issues was shown in Kunstcentrum Bergen.
NH VERZUIPT (NH Drowns) was hosted by Vishal in Haarlem.
NH VERPRETPARKT (NH Disneyfies) was to see in De Boterhal in Hoorn.
NH VERRUIGT (NH Roughs Up) was presented in Museum Waterland in Purmerend and focused on the relationship between landscape and agriculture.
NH VERPAUPERT (NH Pauperizes) in the Grote Kerk of Schermerhorn dealt with the subject of industrialization.