Trying to look further

© Mark Weemen

The work consists of a structure that resembles a telescope. The installation is integrated into the architecture of the exhibition space, which is situated inside a modernist former church building. The visitor can take an imaginary look outside at the industrial cityscape of IJmuiden. The telescope displays manipulated photos of IJmuiden. Small observatories are integrated into the actual architecture. These observatories refer to the constructions that hobby astronomers build all around the world.

The main question of the exhibition was: can we hear a new world coming? Or, to put it differently: can we still create images for the future? One reference point was people’s optimism and belief in progress connected to space travel in the 60s and 70s. Obviously, those images are outdated and can today create only feelings that move between nostalgia and amusement. The message of the little amateur observatories is different. On the one hand, the work picks up a fascination for the small project, for the makeshift architecture of the private observatories which are realized with existing resources. On the other hand, it reflects a fact of astronomy that even as we try to look further ahead, we can only see further into the past.