Xavier Ribas


English, Dutch, German

Greenhouse is an installation about the history of the Greenhouse e Wieringermeer, a polder drained in the 1930s now developing a new future as the location for a gigantic greenhouse complex. The project focuses on the building site of a greenhouse the corporation Agriport is building by the A7 highway, near Medemblik, some 60 kms North of Amsterdam. The structure is around 800 meters long, its surface more than 250.000 square meters. It will be ready for full production in the course of 2007.

In front of the greenhouse still stand the three old farms on which land this new structure is being built. The large video screen shows a continuous travelling shot from one end to the other of a greenhouse under construction. The camera scans foreground and background at a slow pace, as if by walking, capturing two kinds of buildings, two economies, two mentalities, two kinds of ‘work’: a landscape in a state of transition. In the small screen, Mr. Muller (one of the three farmers who sold their land) and his wife talk about their memories of the place:.Their voice accompanies us in our ‘walk’ of the greenhouse. It acts as an aperture to the past of the place, while we contemplate its future. Past and future compress the present into a very thin layer in the landscape, barely visible. Greenhouse is a journey along the gap between two times.

  • Xavier Ribas (1960) lives and works in Brighton (UK) and Barcelona (E). In his work Ribas focuses on how landscape and architecture influence social structures. Ribas studied at the University of Barcelona (1990) and at the Newport School of Art and Design in the UK. Since 2000 he is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Brighton.

  • Editor(s):Bas Vroege, Xavier Ribas
    Photography:Xavier Ribas
    Design:Yvo Zijlstra
  • Publisher(s):Paradox