What am I working on? I was talking with agro-water-mystic Wim Kol about his work. What is it all about? We concluded that with his monumental water-archetypic buildings/sculptures, Wim’s wants to change people’s relationship with the dike.
Que? Water-archetypic? In the Dutch culture, sea and water have always been a central theme. As a source of food, through fishing. As a means of transportation and trade. But also as a threat, the Netherlands having been largely below sea level for centuries. This has resulted in a series of archetypal structures: the dike, the mill, the aquaduct (from Roman times) and the lighthouse, for instance. But also the great expanse of grey water and the great expanse of flat green land.
Wim Kol restructures these archetypes, stripping them of their traditional function, but maintaining a recognizable form. This gives people a chance to develop a different relationship with these archetypes. Through his monuments, architectural sculptures if you will, Wim invites people to look at the dike from a new perspective. Or in many cases: look at the dike at all. And see the dike as more than just a technical device. The dike has history. The dike has beauty. The dike is like a pyramid. The dike is land art.
This new relationship with the dike is a counterweight to the fleeting world of cognition, electronic communication, invisible algorithms and so on. The dike is an emotional anchor. With its enormous weight and length the dike offers a very strong energy. A dike is solid, in the middle of two expanses, land and water. The dike is valuable.
JAAPH is an expressionist painter living in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.