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Two channel video installation, sound composition and a reproduction of a historical photograph, 2022

‘Terugblik’ (retrospect) revolves around a sculpture of the same name by Dutch artist Theo van Reijn that was erected in the Amstel station in 1939 and remains there today. The starting point for this immersive installation is a box containing 250 never-seen-before photographs that were discovered during renovation works at an Amsterdam attic in 2010. Taken from 1941-1942 by Bart de Kok, a member of the Dutch National Socialist Party commissioned to document actions carried out by state authorities, the photographs depict arrests of Jewish inhabitants in Amsterdam, inspections and raids on Jewish-owned stores, and the removal of street signs carrying Jewish names.

One of the photographs shows a crowd of Jews at the Amstel station who would soon be transported to the labour camp Molengoot and from there, eventually, to concentration camps in Poland. At the station, the Jewish Amsterdammers are standing around a sculpture of a naked woman – it’s Terugblik. Her empty and bored stare sweeps across her surroundings. Highlighting the apathy of the stone witness, the installation consists of two video channels depicting Terugblik's indifferent gaze against a backdrop of hundreds of moments that have passed right under her nose since the day she was placed in the station. The piece is accompanied by an otherwordly sound composition and a reproduction of the aforementioned photograph by de Kok from 1942.

The archival images are courtesy of the Stadsarchief Amsterdam/Amsterdam City Archives.

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