Het huis waar zij gelukkig was

2019, NL/DE, installation, happening

'Het huis waar zij gelukkig was' can be loosely translated to English like 'Her happy home'. It was a collaboration with Yanthe van Nek. It was an exhibition on wheels, a van in which we build miniature versions of our family houses. With this vehicle we drove from family home to family home, visiting cities in Holland and Germany, inviting people and talking with them over a cup of coffee.

Yanthe van Nek: https://www.yanthe.com/ 

'(...) The age or interest of the person didn’t matter, everybody got intrigued by something and started imagining their own corner inside the miniature. (...) We wanted to exhibited independently and in public space, so we chose Yanthe’s van as exhibitions space. In the van, both of us build miniature installations and Her Happy Home was born. [T]hese mini rooms served as conversation starters. According to Yanthe dollhouses appeal to people, because they are the size of your head, inviting you to dive into them. I think they are also easy to relate to because you can stand over them. You can control the situation by a flick of the hand. Just like toys give children insight in the world from an bird’s-eye view, we get an overview and can control the little scene. This could be the answer as to why I am getting a calming feeling looking at a small domestic world. Bachelard says ‘[M]iniature rests us without ever putting us to sleep.’ Reading Space and Place by Yi-Fu Tuan I suddenly understood why a dollhouse could be a trap. ‘From an armchair to the whole world’ was a description of the favourite places of human beings. A dollhouse is a dummy, because it is not a place for a human being. In an incredible manner it had posed to me as a place, because for a long time I was not able to figure out why it was a dummy. On a metaphysical level however, miniature worlds can be meaningful. In the chapter the Bachelard devotes to miniatures he admits that they are false objects, but also mentions that ‘Miniature is one of the refuges of greatness.’ According to him, imagination in miniature is not only children’s play but something of all ages. Diving into a miniature means being truly in the moment and experiencing the world, because it is a world you can oversee. ‘[M]iniature is an exercise that has metaphysical l freshness; it allows us to be world conscious at slight risk.’ This is something similar to the exercise of the pronkpoppenhuizen and to the conclusion Yanthe made during Her Happy Home.' - excerpt from 'Threshold', master thesis by Christina Everts