Europe in Summertime
As the followers of this blog and the Arts in Program at Treaty of Utrecht know one of the artists with whom we are very happy to collaborate is Filip Berte. His multifaceted and multilayered project House of Eutopia now took him to Berlin. In Berlin he is working on the fourth room of the House of Eutopia. At his website he describes the choice for Berlin as follows: “With the project of The Graveyard Filip Berte focused on the geographical boundaries around and the social margins within Europe. With The Blue Room, the fourth project of Eutopia, he now focuses on ‘the centre’.‘The centre’ refers to the European Union (EU) as a territorial entity, and is represented by the city of Berlin, geographically lying at the heart of Europe and symbolically the place of the post-Cold War reconciliation between eastern and western Europe.” Filip Berte thereby leaves the focus on the edges of and walls around Europe, in order to present a complete overview of what Europe once was, and perhaps one day can be, in 2013, the year the House of Eutopia will be shown in its’ entirety in Utrecht. And don’t forget to come and see his next show in Utrecht.
Naturally there are many artists who don’t have such overreaching goals with their work, but who like specific parts of the European scenery, be it landscapes or those earlier mentioned walls around the EU. Michiel de Cleene is a photographer who focused on barriers in Europe, amongst them the wall in Melilla. His work however touches on more, and is very worthwhile looking at. He had a show within the framework of the Belgium Summer of Photography but was not amongst the ones on view in the Bozar exposition ‘Sense of Place’. One of my favourite photo series in that show was a work of Andreas Mueller Pohle. He followed that most European of European rivers the Danube for his Danube River Project.
A little further from Utrecht, but closer to many of the tourist destinations in Europe’s South East is Cyprus. Touched upon in an earlier story on Filip Berte the theme of the divided island keeps on coming back to this blog. The great Frank Jacobs wrote a nice piece on the divided island here and in the above mentioned Summer of Photography there is a show on the island as well.
So therewith we touch on the Mediterrean once again. The sea dividing the EU from the countries in the Arab Spring, or Ramadan these weeks, and subject to many great books. But also a sea which divides two spheres and which is still causing death amongst the many who want to cross from one sphere to another. Dutch blogger Flavia Tamara Dzodan kept track of how many people actually don’t make it across the Mediterrean on any day in summer. She is basing quite some of her research on the lists compiled by United, an European wide campaign against narrow thinking. See the sad list here.