Croisiere, 89 Boul. Emile Combe
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Beginning in July and running through September 2019 Les Rencontres de la Photographie in Arles, France will celebrate its 50th anniversary of exhibitions, off-site projects, and accompanying educational programs. The festival serves to invigorate the photo community and art world at large, and is dedicated to presenting photography through multiple and varied modalities. This year Les Rencontres has invited Dutch artist Marjan Teeuwen to realize the next installation in her ongoing Destroyed House project. This installation will be Teeuwen’s first realized work in France. The focus will be on the reconstruction of a 19th century building, and is expected to host over 140,000 unique visitors. The installation will be accompanied by an exhibition of photographs of Teeuwen's earlier works.
Destroyed House encompasses installation, sculpture, performance, and the photographic medium, and Teeuwen's first endeavor was in 2007. Teeuwen gains access to dilapidated buildings slated for demolition, and transforms the wreckage into art. Coming up with the initial vision for an installation, Teeuwen collaborates with a team of architects and contractors to fabricate, from the building's own debris, a structurally sound installation.
By breaking down walls and doors, opening up holes in floors and ceilings, Teeuwen organically derives materials from the very bones of the existing structure. She carefully organizes and assembles, often by stacking, each fragment into detailed architectural sculptures, set within the original structure. These temporary living artworks are present for their surrounding community to experience, but they ultimately exist only through the carefully composed photographs, which Teeuwen captures for posterity with her large-format camera. Her images illuminate the precarious balance between the power of destruction, the need for order and function, and, the ephemerality of art and architecture.
Teeuwen explores the processes of reconstruction, redemption, and transformation through every project. These themes are explored through the physicality of each building, but also speak to the struggles of humankind. Teeuwen’s most recent and poignant project to date, set in Gaza in 2016, resonated deeply on all accounts. Given access to a home that had been bombed, Teeuwen worked with a team of local people to give the house a second life. The actual process of reconstruction served not only to bring a small corner of beauty to destruction, but perhaps also used art as a tool in the healing process.
Born in 1953 in Venlo, Holland, Teeuwen now lives and works in Amsterdam, Holland. She attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Tilburg, followed by Academy of Fine Arts and Design St. Joost in Breda. In 2014 Teeuwen participated in a residency in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her work has been exhibited at ARCAM, Amsterdam, Holland; the Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden, Holland; the Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam, Holland; Stedelijk Museum’s-Hertogenbosch, Museum Het Valkhof Nijmegen, and the Museum Van Bommel Van Dam, Venlo, Holland.