Installation with five slide projectors and limestone blocks, 2017
Sedimentation of Memory uses the format of installation with slides and limestones to introduce a way of looking at the relationship between Europe and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). It collapses visual narratives based on historical and geological findings related to Cannerberg, a cavernous hill located between the Dutch and Belgian border. From Neolithic times, continuous mining of flint nodules and later limestone created a complex network of underground tunnels around the Caesert plateau and Cannerberg. In Limburg province, these hand cut tunnels are commonly referred to as “the caves.” During World War II, German troops repurposed Cannerberg’s “cave” as a storage and assembly facility for V-1 rockets. Up until that moment the maze of underground corridors was regularly used by locals to farm mushrooms and keep animals. A few years after the end of World War II, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) rented out the same “cave” and used it as a headquarters for war operations during the Cold War, transforming Cannerberg into a military zone once again. However, the NATO headquarters shut down in 1992 due to severe asbestos and oil contamination. That same year, the Treaty of the European Union was ratified in Maastricht, its twelve signatures memorialized in Cannerberg’s “cave.” At the present day, a group of volunteers takes care of it.
Sedimentation of Memory combines technology (dia slides) with material remnants (limestone) of the time and of the location. The installation allows for different projections to overlap in space, stimulating the viewer to find its own position. The project draws from a variety of sources from private and public archives, tracing characters as they surface from different mediums: black-and-white or color photographs, VHS tapes, scanned documents, natural history books, military brochures, tourist guides or the most recent unclassified records from the NATO archive in Brussels.