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Stripe / 2009 / Spaansland Fire Station / commission / Municipality of Enschede

The artwork is made up of two large-scale photographs, and is about the imaginary line that lies precisely in between the two chosen locations for the photos. One photo has been placed on the back wall in the canteen, and the other in the hallway of the sleeping quarters on the left-hand wall (as seen from the canteen). The photographs have been incorporated such that they form a visual component of the existing building, and offer an alternative vista. The artwork also solves the acoustic problems in the canteen: the facing wall of which the photo is part is made of high-quality acoustic material.  

 

The photos represent the cityscape in which the firefighters carry out their daily work. Together, the photos subtly represent the contrast between water and fire.  

 

The photo in the canteen (3 x 15 meters) occupies the entire back wall, and shows a lifelike panorama as seen from a dilapidated building. The viewer’s gaze passes over a number of columns along the entire length of building and then out to the world beyond. The effect this wall-sized image creates in the canteen is one of an open terrace, as if the canteen were part of an ‘open’ ruin. The world outside of the ruin is unclear and unrecognisable due to the photo’s overexposure. Within the building, it can clearly be seen how nature is gradually creeping in.   

 

The image in the hallway (2.5 x 32.5 metres) forms a counterpoint to the photo in the canteen. It is located on the other side of the stripe. Whereas the image in the canteen suggests spaciousness, the photo in the hallway blocks the view of this dilapidated building. This highly-elongated photo, which consists of a whole row of photos that have been joined together, shows a large wooden fence, covered in graffiti and posters. The viewer feels as if they are walking down a street.

 

The doors to the firefighters’ private sleeping quarters form a natural part of the fence, and look as if they will lead you to an imaginary space behind them. The contrast between public and private, and open and closed, is used to symbolise fire and water.