Planned landscapes – 25 horizons
As the title of the work indicates, a total of 25 landscapes are shown. Dekkers photographed each of these Dutch landscapes from seven different angles. All the angles of one landscape are projected simultaneously onto seven screens placed side by side. The resulting horizon makes the different angles, as well as the different landscapes, into one whole. The projection from the rear makes it possible for the visitor to get very close to the screens. You can hear the sound of the slides changing. But what actually went on behind the scenes during the realization of this exhibition?
Conservation through reproduction
The lamp in a slide projector discolours the film of the slides. In order to avoid exposing the original slides to this, and to preserve them for the future, exhibition copies have been made. This was done by a specialized company in Germany under the supervision of a museum conservator. Each carousel has room for 81 slides. The museum has three original slides of each photograph. Out of these three copies, the one that was in the best condition was chosen. These original colour slides and the original text slides were photographed with an analogue camera. Each slide is precisely cut to size by hand out of a larger piece of film. The same selected original slides were then also photographed with a digital camera, so that the current condition is digitized from now on. In order to photograph the slides, they naturally had to be removed from their glass slide frames. The hundreds of slide frames were then thoroughly cleaned. Finally, the seven carousels were filled in the conservation studio. Due to the large number of slides, extra attention had to be paid to the order during this process.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain the materials for this type of installation, such as in this case the film for the slides or even the extra slide frames. The same is true of the equipment, or spare parts, such as suitable projectors and the right lenses. The knowledge and skills required to deal with these materials and techniques are also becoming scarce. All these factors make this exhibition extra special. It is uncertain whether in a few years it will still be possible to make new exhibition copies and show them to the public using slide projectors.
Ger Dekkers. Planned landscapes - 25 horizons is tot en met 3 oktober te zien in het Kröller-Müller Museum.
Links Stefanie Janson, former intern conservation of modern art and sculpture, Rechts Susanne Kensche, conservator of modern art and sculpture