Netherlands, 2015, installation in public space, 80 x 182 x 15 cm, glass, red neon gas, Perspex, iron
mijn-dijn is a neon installation mounted on a pole on the patio outside the museum Schunck* in Heerlen, NL, alternately showing the words 'mijn' ('mine') and 'dijn' ('thine'). The work symbolizes the accumulation of capital during the time the mines were open in the area around the city of Heerlen. South Limburg's resources were exploited for the benefit of "Holland", making it a sort of colony burdened with taxes and levies which have colored the relationship between the "North" and the "South" to this day.
The installation mijn-dijn was inspired by the pamphlet Carboonkolonisatie (1974) by artist, cultural critc and former senator Nic Tummers. In this writing he perceives aspects of colonialism in the history of the South Limburg coalfields and describes their influence over the society which developed there.
For this exhibition I also realized the work Pabrik gula (2015): a set of 38 slides of workers at a sugar factory in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, where I live part of the year. The two works mijn-dijn and Pabrik gula draw subtle parallels between Java and Limburg, complete with an idea of who and what is "Hollandish". It's not the first time these cultural similarities have been pointed out. In an interview then Jakarta-based journalist Step Vaessen - also Limburger by birth - observed that "the Javanese are just like Limburgers". By partly living in Yogyakarta I myself noticed Javanese are in general shy, indirect and (seem to be) relatively impressed by Westerners.
Exhibition: Oét d'r Sjtub (Out of the Dust), group show with Melanie Bonajo, Roger Cremers, Chaim van Luit, Danae Moons, Sandro Setola, Su Tomesen, curated by Lene ter Haar
Museum Schunck*, Heerlen, NL, March 6 till June 7, 2015
Concept and design: Su Tomesen i.c.w. Hans van Dijk of Qneon Rotterdam
Two years later, in 2017 and 2018, the installation mijn-dijn was part of the group exhibition Zie MIJ. Manifestatie over binnen en buiten je bubbel denken, at Museum IJsselstein (MIJ) in IJsselstein, September 30 till November 19, 2017. After that the work was part of the group exhibition Verlicht MIJ in 2017. Eigentijds licht in de kunst in the same museum. December 2 until February 25, 2018. Both exhibitions were curated by Trudi van Zadelhoff and Amy Stenvert.
Since January 2018 mijn-dijn (2015, edition of 3) is part of the collection of Museum IJsselstein. The work is mounted above the entrance of the museum.