Kim Bouvy

Cityscape - Cologne

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Images made during residency May 2013 at Opekta Ateliers, Cologne

August/end 2013 - Imagined Stories/Verhalen Verbeeld

“Nature uses human imagination to lift her work of creation to even higher levels.”
(Luigi Pirandello)

Marres Projects, Bureau Europa, and Camille Oostwegel Château Hotels & Restaurants have partnered to form of a cultural research project called Imaged Stories. This project primarily focuses on the history of the WinselerHof estate in Landgraaf—a 16th-century farmhouse that opened in 1985 as a completely restored and furnished hotel and restaurant by Camille Oostwegel. Secondly, the surroundings of the Kerkrade/Landgraaf, with its rich history, will be inventoried. Since Roman times, the region has been a border area and is characterised by different historical developments and their traces, thus influencing the language, cultural practices, and the formation of the landscape. For example, think of the many foreign immigrants who came to work in the area’s mines. The project intends to make visible the effects of these industrial and cultural exchanges and recognise the region’s distinct history.

Imaged Stories was launched in August 2013. Four artists and designers were invited to stay for a week on the WinselerHof estate and to work on a visual intervention in its grounds. Participants: Astrid Mingels (artist), Kim Bouvy (artist, photographer, educator), Chris Kabel (designer) and Hans Engelbrecht (ecological gardener and director of de Groene Stap).

Kim Bouvy’s photo series examines our presumptions in relation to the appearance of the surrounding landscape. In her photographic series of the lush and idyllic nature, an undercurrent of tension exists. In many places, the green ground cover conceals traces of the mining history that characterises the landscape of Central Limburg. As part of her research, she consulted the Limburg Regional Historical Centre archives and old DSM calendars to gain an insight into what once was. This translated into a visual analysis where she zoomed out from the WinselerHof estate to its immediate vicinity. She animates her series by interweaving images of ‘real’ nature with pictures of nearby large-scale scenic recreational areas, such as botanical gardens, Snow World, Gaia Zoo, and the Mondo Verde World Gardens. Parks seemingly imbued with a particular history, but in terms of meaning they appear to completely ignore such histories. The remains of what was once a landscape of production are transformed into carriers of a new identity, becoming what could be described as style rooms of the new nature. As such, she puts our perceptions and symbolism of nature under the microscope and shows, in a poetic way, the relations and contradictions between constructed, cultivated vegetation and real nature.

http://www.bureau-europa.nl/

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March 2013 - Energy Landscapes

For the publication SOURCE #07: What if we were all producers (of energy)?’ published by the Master departments of the Design Academy Eindhoven (ISBN 978-94-91400-04-9), I photographed the EON energy plant located on the Maasvlakte in Rotterdam. The publication is a result of a joint project with E.ON about the future of energy for which the first year master students developed a series of scenarios.

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