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Indepth Arts News:

"Scripted Spaces"
2000-02-27 until 2000-04-16
Witte de With, Center for Contemporary Art
Rotterdam, , NL Netherlands

Scripted Spaces explores the recognition, mapping and erasure of our surroundings. Partaking of a long tradition in the visual arts, and yet far away from its beautifying, sentimental, or even apocalyptic features, it charts the modern landscape with nuclear testing sites, entertainment parks, mortal and envisioned spaces, shaped by modern tools of inscription including billboards, bulldozers, and special effects.

The title of the exhibition refers to the installation 'Scripted Spaces: The Chase and the Labyrinth' presented by the critic and novelist Norman Klein, in collaboration with the Künstlerhaus Stuttgart. This installation explores the phenomenon of scripted spaces: carefully designed and controlled spaces that reconcile cultural meaning with the thrill of the unknown. With their prolific use of special effects and virtual topographies, scripted spaces constitute the mainspring of today's film industry and computer games. Other examples of the genre are theme parks, casinos, and labyrinths. With trompe l'oeil painting, animated cartoons, and web navigators, Klein's installation presents a collage of images from scripted spaces. See further: a href=http://www.impsresearch.com>www.impsresearch.com.

It is characteristic of the current pioneers of the landscape genre that they do not all profile themselves primarily as artists. Among them are also academics, critics, and research organizations. The last title applies to The Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI), which is dedicated to the increase and diffusion of information about how the world's lands are apportioned, utilized and perceived. Blurring the boundaries between art, research, intelligence and planning, the projects by CLUI render a whole series of politically charged cartographic and landscape views that provide commentary on issues as diverse as modern defense tactics and waste management. In this exhibition, the CLUI will focus on controlled perspectives ('overlooks') in a range of places, including, for instance, security forces training towns, state and federal borders, and industrial sites. See further: www.clui.org.

The third part of the exhibition is devoted to the exploration of the Dutch cityscape. Jan Kempenaers (Belgium, 1968) presents the cityscape as a collection of quiet, everyday places. Geert Mul (Netherlands, 1965) shows the city as a series of agitated, fragmented images. More focused on specific viewpoints and aspects of the cityscape are the works by Lara Almarcegui (Spain, 1972), on the phenomenon of the allotment garden, Nasrin Tabatabai (Iran, 1960) on the Rotterdam cityscape viewed through the eyes of a local Turkish shop owner, and Julika Rudelius (Germany, 1968) on the city's social traffic. Jan Rothuizen (Netherlands, 1968) presents an ethereal urban landscape shaped by the murmur of myriad simultaneously played radio broadcasts.


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