The collective’s site specific work The Residents is part of the group show Must See from 2 April at Zuiderzeemuseum, Enkhuizen.

Throughout the past year we’ve been working on a research based project with Zuiderzeemuseum, Enkhuizen (NL). A museum with one of the most remarkable outdoor museums we’ve seen; a small village consisting of characteristic buildings – big and small – that were originally in villages in the Zuiderzee area, but rebuild in the 1950’s.

The museum invited us to reflect on Dutch traditional wear in relation to tourism. The traditional wear has been reproduced repeatedly and has become a romanticised image – a static, stand-alone icon. While in every day life the tradition is intimate, pragmatic and subject to constant change. In our work we want to unite those two conflicting realities.

We selected three buildings from the outdoor museum to find out who is currently living on the geographic location the building was originally on. We were curious what their lives are like, how they live and what they wear. We translated all of this, together with the information we have gotten on the traditional wear of the region, into sculptures. Portraits if you wish.

The chapel, Den Oever

On October 26, we ring the bell at the first location. In Den Oever, where this chapel used to be, there is now an apartment complex with a chilly empty shop on the ground floor. Apart from the street name, nothing in the street scene reminds us of the chapel. The chapel is still very much alive in the memory of the residents of the complex. His name is Egbert, and he has always worked in fishing, remembers well how the church was visible from the dike. Since his retirement he has always been busy making things. In the window frame stands a great pride, a London Tower Bridge, completely constructed of Lego. Her name is Gea, with a warm smile she shows us around the house and through their wardrobe. Some smart pants, sneakers, comfortable t-shirts. A traditional Wieringer hood? No, she doesn’t have a Wieringer hood.

The fisherman’s house, Monnickendam

We tracked down Mr. Sijmons through a competition he once won through the Monnickendam shopkeepers’ association. By Googling his name we find a local theater company and through the screen of his telephone we see an open and cheerful man in a green ensemble. Green with green. Even his physical therapist knows that if his shirt is green, even his socks are. He apologizes for the dents on his face that have come with the years. Monnickendam has never had a very pronounced costume, but the neighboring local choir likes to dress in Volendam costume. He feels great in such gigantic pants.

The candy shop, Volendam

This house once stood in the Doolhof of Volendam. The streets are so narrow that the cars from google maps cannot get there. Where this sweet shop once stood is now a small family home from the 1990s. Via a video call we meet Cliff and Agata. They wanted to surprise us by receiving us in their Volendam costumes, in which Cliff usually shows tourists around. Instead, they wear comfortable clothes adorned with company logos. They speak with mixed feelings about the absence of the annual tourist flow. Nice and quiet, thinks Agata, who finally does not have to squeeze through a photographing crowd with full shopping bags. It is a bit less favorable for Cliff’s pub De Molen, but his energy is no less. He speaks vividly about his businesses and British shorthair cats.

2 April – 24 October 2021

Wierdijk 12-22
Enkhuizen (NL)