Mirte van Duppen
info [at] mirtevanduppen [dot] nl
[plus] 31 (0)6 48066377 | CV


VIEW of the/from the WATERSIDE
3 channel video installation, 21:22 Minutes
Kindly supported by Mondriaanfonds

In her research-based art Mirte van Duppen probes the structures and formal elements of cities and their architectures. Issues concerning urban organization, artistic design of the environment, and their impact on the environment’s reception are no less central than the regulation and directing of people within public space.
     The urban district of ‘t Eilandje in Antwerp, once part of the port of Antwerp, is the setting for Mirte van Duppen’s three channel film installation “VIEW of the / from the WATERSIDE”, which reflects on developments and views of the water in the context of the current gentrification of the area. While in the port context water was ascribed primarily functional properties, it now becomes an aesthetic factor in promoting the newly created former port landscape and condominiums that are an integral part of it. As the location develops from an industrial to a postindustrial area, the view onto water becomes an exclusive experience: water’s calmative and relaxing powers, but also expansive, romantic views of water, become marketing strategies. Different aquatic perspectives shape and inform the film to create a comprehensive conspectus of the element with views from the land, from a traveling boat, and from inhabited and uninhabited apartments. In calm images almost devoid of human action, with a narrative voice-over that describes developments and the significance of water, Van Duppen not only questions the new properties ascribed to water but also their appropriation and use in the context of urban planning and business interests.

— Christin Müller, curator Basis

[photo by: Katrin Binner]

[photos by: Günther Dächert]

In a voice-over poetic narrative divided up into chapters, the film combines excerpts from interviews, case studies, and real estate agents’ websites.


Text quoted from

Mulvihill, D. A. (1991). Urban waterfront development. Urban Land50(12).
Smith, H., & Ferrari, M. S. G. (2012). Negotiating city-building in waterfront communities around the North Sea: An analytical framework. Waterfront regeneration. Experiences in city-building, 17-32.
Smolski, C. E. (1990). Waterfronts as a Key to City-Center Redevelopment. Rhode Island History48(3), 86-94.
Tanguy Ottomer Resident ’t Eilandje & Owner Buro BeroepsBelg - City guide, walks and tours

Text, based on interviews with

Anne-Christin Bielig & Jonas Nicolaï  Former residents ’t Eilandje
Daan Gielis & Lotte Residents ’t Eilandje
Dirk Lenaerts & girlfriend Former residents ’t Eilandje
Dirk van den Berghe Owner of travel books shop ‘Alta Via Travel Books’ at ’t Eilandje
Els and Frank Residents ’t Eilandje
Fons Resident ’t Eilandje
Hanne van Dyck & Bert Jacobs Residents at Schelde
Jasper Leonard Former resident ’t Eilandje
Johan Hamaker Real-estate agent at ‘t Eilandje – Belga Vastgoed
Lander Casteleyn Former resident ’t Eilandje
Magda Voorhoof  Resident ’t Eilandje
Nick Hullegie Resident ’t Eilandje
Rosy Resident and owner of bar ‘la Campina’ at ’t Eilandje
Tanguy Ottomer Resident ’t Eilandje & Owner Buro BeroepsBelg - City guide, walks and tours
Yves and girlfriend Residents ’t Eilandje

Text, based on real estate agents websites

De Boer & Partners, www.deboerenpartners.be
De Meester, www.demeester.eu
Engel & Völkers, www.engelvoelkers.com
Hebbes, www.hebbes.be
Logic Immo, www.logic-immo.com
Zimmo, www.zimmo.be

The Dutch Mountain
2 channel video installation, 40 Minutes
graduation Sandberg Instituut

Imagine a mountain in the midst of a polder in the Netherlands. The horizontal interjected with the vertical. Flatness disrupted by height. It is an amalgam of landscapes, plants and animals. This fantasy is not as delirious as it may seem, given how the Dutch are continuously designing and shaping their environment, working with and against the ever-present water. The Dutch Mountain is a realistic science fiction, that plays with the fine line between fiction and reality. It is assembled out of fragments of inhabited landscapes* and conversations with experts in the field**. Their detailed descriptions of how the mountain will look, how it will be maintained, and the influence it will have on the surrounding environment in fact materialize the mountain in the mind of the viewer. 

[First 5 Minutes of 'The Dutch Mountain']

[photos made by: Klemen Ilovar]

Amsterdam (Amsterdamse bos & Decathlon & NS station)
Andijk (Maatschap Kreuk)
Delft (TU Delft)
Groningen (Bjoeks)
Leiden (de Bult)
Lelystad (Landschapsberheer Flevoland & Lelystad Airport)
Mierlo (Gulbergen Golf)
Rotterdam (Blauw & ZOO Blijdorp)
Tilburg (Tivoli Garage)
Wassenaar (Meijendel)

**Experts in the field
Ernst van Alphen : Professor of Literary Studies – Department of Film and Literary Studies – Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society
Johan Greve : Technical Government official & Head official housing corporation Almere
Niels Kreuk : Vertically cultivating farmer, Maatschap Kreuk
Els Molenaar : Leisure specialist, Blauw Research B.V.
Jan Nagel : Birdwatcher, Landschapsbeheer Flevoland
Jeroen Reinhold : Biologist/ ecologist, Landschapsbeheer Flevoland
Dr. Stephan de Roode : Climatologist – Assistant professor – Research themes: Clouds, Atmosphere, TU Delft University of Technology
Jan Willem : Farmer, NoordOostpolder

2 channel video installation, 12:48 Minutes

[02:23 of 'Transparency']

Review by Tijana Stevanović*

Urban space is transparent. Everything signifies, even if signifiers float freely, since everything is related to “pure” form, is contained in that form. Order and form tend to blur together, even though form is simultaneously perceived, conceived, and made manifest (dreamed). But we (subjects, individuals or groups, who are also in and of the urban reality and collected there the way things are) realise that this transparency is deceptive.
— Henri Lefebvre, The Urban Revolution, 2003 (1970)

Mirte van Duppen’s installation is situated between the two worlds of reflections on the surface and the relations constructing the surface’s depth. Similar to Lefebvre’s affection for bracketing rather than use of ‘purer’ sentence form, Transparency suggests the form does not hold a direct equivalent to the ideological ordering of the cities. What appears to be translucent in the urban representation, may be opaque in the urban relations. This gest of non-equilibrium is undeniable least since Jamesonian critique of postmodern tendency dismantling the grand narrative of unobscured (direct) link between the signifier and the signified. The collage of voices complementing the moving images ranges from: various theoreticians’, artists’ and architects’ pondering into complexity of the contemporary city and author’s own poetic pessimism - to the interviews with the employees of the tall office buildings extracted from observations at the filming locations. The video’s layering and contrasting thus performed dismantles modernist idea of transparency asking us to unpack the belief that what you see is what you get.

Shot in various financial districts around Europe, not incidentally, van Duppen’s video material does not reveal much of the specificity of the different locations. It rather concentrates to follow conflation of time paralleled with the flattening and thinning out of the skyscrapers’ facades. The stillness of the camera’s observation allows the viewer not only to look at, but to question into the gridded and multilayered depth of the‘modern creeds’. The anonymity of the modular repetition of the curtain walls is what keeps the tension in our view, wavering between the superficial transparency and the metaphorical permeability of the glass coating membranes.

Does the form still follow function, like architect Louis Sullivan theorised the late XIX century embodiment of Chicago school’s office towers? Or does the ubiquitous typology of the office skyscraper that steadily standardises the skylines worldwide reflect a rather gloomier, comparable to Manfredo Tafuri’s projection, that the ideology of the‘rational plan’ has obliterated the urban form as the defensible space? Is the architecture of corporation transparent to the imperatives of the capital?

Transparency suggests the architectural surface not only being a screen, but suspending the history. Glass facades immaculately maintained, that do not permit much weathering, work as a signifier together with van Duppen’s installation set itself. Arrested between the dialectic tension of the two screen surfaces, the observer encounters the simultaneity of the ‘same, but different’ repetition of veiling extended into the subtle third dimension of the projection’s own fluid borders. Double-layered mediation of the projective surface evading its technical limit evokes the contours of two towers in the gallery space. The author invites us to reconfigure the essence of the screen thinking about it as the space for relational transformation rather than the passive inscription.

Tijana Stevanović is a PhD researcher in Architectural Theory and Criticism at Newcastle University, where she also teaches, and affiliated researcher to the ‘Architecture in Effect’ at KTH School of Architecture, Stockholm.

On the other side, Appearance and Access to
The One Minutes


[on the other side] [part of Sandberg Series 2015]


[access to]

Office X
in collaboration with Manetta Berends
exposed in
29.04 - 03.05.2013

[Office X Submission-Form / Office X Brochure / Office X Business-card]

Office X was calling for submissions for the virtual exhibition space at
www.domainxgallery.org. As a bureaucratic element of the Domain X Gallery, Office X
opened its doors at the gallery space of Staycation Museum for one week (Monday April 29th till Friday, May 3rd 2013. Opening hours: 10:00 - 20:00h). By exposing the online Domain X Gallery in the offline Staycation Museum gallery space, we asked ourselves: How is a Gallery in a Gallery an Exhibition?

Office X is the first offline exhibition of Domain X, where the questions are reflected which we are facing while setting up our online Gallery. In the form of an offline office space where contributors could meet and react, we are questioning questions. Office X continued thinking about the terms Office X, exhibiting, gallery, space / place, public / publishing, virtual / physical.

[Office X Team / Office X Desk]

The Domain X Team positioned itself behind the Office X desk, and provided a visual / theoretical wall-installation for the visitors, which tried to support the submissions. Each question on the form had a number, and were related to a number-system on the wall.
Office X formulated more question-questions and questions to answers, in combination with visual and written elements from i.a. the 'Domain X Archive'. The Domain X Team worked every working day on the wall-installation, and developed this catalog in the course
of the week.

[Office X = Open]

[Office X Reference Library / Office X Shop]

[Office X virtual DJ Kaktus
at opening / closing night]

[Office X physical DJ Nick at opening / closing night]

[Office X Opening / closing night]

[Office X Catalog : 'Questioning Questions Script #1: Office X']

Domain X is in process, Office X is in process,
the Call for Submissions is the process.

Domain X Gallery
in collaboration with Manetta Berends
2012 - 2013

The DOMAIN X EXHIBITION SPACE functions for us to make / experiment / try
and keep on going with our self-initiated design work, after graduation from the art academy ArtEZ in Arnhem in July 2012. The exhibition space is a virtual stage which changes in time its way of showing and presenting. This means, that not all the exhibitions will take place in this virtual space. We will curate / create / design the space so it will suit / engage with / add something to the elements in it, (probably) taken from the archive.

In DOMAIN X ARCHIVE we select / collect / edit / transform / repeat material taken
from our surroundings.

The DOMAIN X SHOP is open!



DOMAIN X ZINE #1+2 are part of the DXZ#-series, in which the process of setting up the domain X gallery will be reflected, and transformed into printed publications.

/ Stay in touch with domain X, subscribe to our newsletter
send an empty email to domainxgallery@gmx.de with the word
'newsletter' in the subject.

'Organized by rules'
controlled public space
research project, 2012
supervision Thomas Buxo & Vinca Kruk

This project dealt with the controlled public space. Public space feels public (as already indicated by the word itself) but how public is it for real? Regulations control your behaviour, the things you can do or not. I wanted to make these rules visible which are usually opaque. I did this by making ribbons which were inspired by barrier tape. Barrier tape forms a border, the same as rules are confining public space. They control a space and restrict your movements. The ribbons had another kind of function: They are made to wrap objects; when you wrap the ribbon around the object you create a second layer around it. This way, the normally invisible layer becomes visible.

Every object or situation in the project had its own ribbon, which consisted of a pattern and a text. Because of his aggressive look the pattern gives a signal. The text displays the original rule(s) of the general local regulation ‘Algemene Plaatselijke Verordening’ (APV. The organization, details, and the formal language give the text of the APV a certain beauty.

I formed three different categories of APV rules which were associated with certain colors. Forbidden (red), obligation (light blue), and law of the municipality (dark blue). When a rule belonged to more than one category I did not assign a color to it. Subsequently, I went with one ribbon to three cities and villages to wrap places, where one can sit or lay down. I did this in different cities and places because I wanted to show that one can use this ribbon everywhere and that they are not only connected to big cities or large squares.

In addition, I made a catalogue which described the whole project. I displayed all its properties, the whole text of the APV, the ribbons (1:1) as well as the context of the ribbons and what they were made for. How they work in use, which you can see on pictures that I made.




[Den Haag - Utrecht - Waalwijk]