The logistic future lies overhead. Whether it’s drones, satellites or autonomous aircraft – the ether serves as a backdrop for logistical dreams. To counteract this tendency the Dutch artist Leanne Wijnsma directs our gaze downwards. With the work that she has continued to develop under the title Subterranean Matter she virtually connects a bunker system from World War II in Valletta (Malta) with the ductwork and manifolds of the city of Halle. Here the city’s most important supply channels – the absolutely essential connections that run under the streets providing electricity, water and telecommunication – flow together.
The ground is seldom perceived as a space to be utilized and experienced. Too heavy and too unreal, too dark and too massive. Yet underground spaces facilitate movement by creating economic, material and communicative relationships between locations and protecting them from the surface. In a second work, the short film Children of the Underground, an older man tells the remarkable story of his life in the tunnels of Valletta during the battles of World War II. Here civilizing infrastructures and their existential significance are rendered visible and audible. The tunnel is revealed to be a radically different space with unseen access points and effects on the surface that often remain concealed.
Children of the Underground, 2018
HD video, 16:00 min
Subterranean Matter, 2018
3D Laser Scan & Unreal Game Engine (Valletta MT 2018 / Leeuwaarden NL 2018 / Halle DE 2018)