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Sea Level and De Verbeelding, photo Jordi Huisman, courtesy Land Art Flevoland
20 June 2024 

Land art and Post 65 in cooperation with Cultural Heritage Agency

Meet-up in collaboration with the Dutch Cultural Heritage Agency

Date: June 20th, 2024
Time: 13:00 - 17:00
Location: De Verbeelding, De Verbeelding 25, 3892 HZ Zeewolde
View: Sea Level, by Richard Serra
Language: Dutch
With: Simone Vermaat, Anne Reenders, Martine van Kampen, Véronique Hoedemakers, Veerle Meul, Berthe Jongejan and Deniz Ikiz Kaya

In cooperation with the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands(RCE)

Link to participate

During this afternoon's program of presentations, case studies, and discussions, we will examine the narrative of Dutch land art through the lens of heritage. The emergence of land art in the Netherlands has been catalyzed by actors within the visual arts sector, including artists themselves, as well as museums such as the Stedelijk Museum and the Kröller-Müller Museum, and outdoor exhibitions like Sonsbeek Buiten de Perken. The engineers of the Rijksdienst IJsselmeerpolders (RIJP), responsible for the development of the new land in the reclaimed polders of the Ijsselmeer in the early 1970s, embraced this new movement from the start.

The first land art

Land art or earthworks truly captured the imagination, especially as the newly reclaimed Flevo polders bore a striking resemblance to the American desert where the first land art works were realized. This is how the first land artworks were created in the Flevoland landscape. Later on, public clients such as municipalities, nature management organisations, advised by art commissions, increasingly commissioned land art. It has produced an extraordinary collection of Dutch land art, with artworks by internationally renowned artists such as James Turrell, Richard Serra, Antony Gormley and Robert Smithson.

Management and conservation

However, most of these artworks are now owned by municipalities or nature organizations, which often lack the in-house expertise to manage, preserve, and make them accessible to the public. The management and maintenance of land art is also complex, as it often involves multiple owners. Additionally, many of these artworks are constructed using living materials, in which decay is intentionally incorporated as part of the artistic concept. Moreover, these artworks are located in outdoor spaces and are publicly accessible 24 hours a day, making them vulnerable to all kinds of outside influences.

Living heritage

To gain insight into the preservation of these examples of land art as cultural heritage for the future, we are organizing a platform meeting on Art in Public Space in collaboration with the National Cultural Heritage Agency. We aim to explore the future of this living heritage through a series of real-life case studies. What expertise is needed to manage and preserve land art? How does land art restoration work? How do we anticipate the effects that climate change may have on the artworks or the immediate surroundings? How can we continue to promote knowledge development and exchange in this field?

Sea Level by Richard Serra (1996), foto Jordi Huisman, courtesy Land Art Flevoland