Mirte van Duppen
info [at] mirtevanduppen [dot] nl
[plus] 31 (0)6 48066377 | CV


two-channel video installation
280 x 157 x 10cm, 16:9 HDV 25p, 12:48 min, loop

(video) Some Minutes of 'Transparency'

(installation views) Generaal Vetterstraat 66, Amsterdam (NL), 2014

Review by Tijana Stevanović*

Urban space is transparent. Everything signifies, even if signifiers float freely, since everything is related to “pure” form, is contained in that form. Order and form tend to blur together, even though form is simultaneously perceived, conceived, and made manifest (dreamed). But we (subjects, individuals or groups, who are also in and of the urban reality and collected there the way things are) realise that this transparency is deceptive.
— Henri Lefebvre, The Urban Revolution, 2003 (1970)

Mirte van Duppen’s installation is situated between the two worlds of reflections on the surface and the relations constructing the surface’s depth. Similar to Lefebvre’s affection for bracketing rather than use of ‘purer’ sentence form, Transparency suggests the form does not hold a direct equivalent to the ideological ordering of the cities. What appears to be translucent in the urban representation, may be opaque in the urban relations. This gest of non-equilibrium is undeniable least since Jamesonian critique of postmodern tendency dismantling the grand narrative of unobscured (direct) link between the signifier and the signified. The collage of voices complementing the moving images ranges from: various theoreticians’, artists’ and architects’ pondering into complexity of the contemporary city and author’s own poetic pessimism - to the interviews with the employees of the tall office buildings extracted from observations at the filming locations. The video’s layering and contrasting thus performed dismantles modernist idea of transparency asking us to unpack the belief that what you see is what you get.

Shot in various financial districts around Europe, not incidentally, van Duppen’s video material does not reveal much of the specificity of the different locations. It rather concentrates to follow conflation of time paralleled with the flattening and thinning out of the skyscrapers’ facades. The stillness of the camera’s observation allows the viewer not only to look at, but to question into the gridded and multilayered depth of the‘modern creeds’. The anonymity of the modular repetition of the curtain walls is what keeps the tension in our view, wavering between the superficial transparency and the metaphorical permeability of the glass coating membranes.

Does the form still follow function, like architect Louis Sullivan theorised the late XIX century embodiment of Chicago school’s office towers? Or does the ubiquitous typology of the office skyscraper that steadily standardises the skylines worldwide reflect a rather gloomier, comparable to Manfredo Tafuri’s projection, that the ideology of the‘rational plan’ has obliterated the urban form as the defensible space? Is the architecture of corporation transparent to the imperatives of the capital?

Transparency suggests the architectural surface not only being a screen, but suspending the history. Glass facades immaculately maintained, that do not permit much weathering, work as a signifier together with van Duppen’s installation set itself. Arrested between the dialectic tension of the two screen surfaces, the observer encounters the simultaneity of the ‘same, but different’ repetition of veiling extended into the subtle third dimension of the projection’s own fluid borders. Double-layered mediation of the projective surface evading its technical limit evokes the contours of two towers in the gallery space. The author invites us to reconfigure the essence of the screen thinking about it as the space for relational transformation rather than the passive inscription.

Dr Tijana Stevanović is an architect, artist, and researcher. She is currently a lecturer in architecture and design at the Canterbury School of Architecture, UCA, and a teaching fellow at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL (2015—).

On the other side, Appearance and Access to
The One Minutes


(video) 'On the other side', part of Sandberg Series 2015

(video) 'Appereance'

(video) 'Access to'

Office X
in collaboration with Manetta Berends
exposed in
29.04.2013 - 03.05.2013, Berlin (DE)

[Office X Submission-Form / Office X Brochure / Office X Business-card]

Office X was calling for submissions for the virtual exhibition space at
www.domainxgallery.org. As a bureaucratic element of the Domain X Gallery, Office X
opened its doors at the gallery space of Staycation Museum for one week (Monday April 29th till Friday, May 3rd 2013. Opening hours: 10:00 - 20:00h). By exposing the online Domain X Gallery in the offline Staycation Museum gallery space, we asked ourselves: How is a Gallery in a Gallery an Exhibition?

Office X is the first offline exhibition of Domain X, where the questions are reflected which we are facing while setting up our online Gallery. In the form of an offline office space where contributors could meet and react, we are questioning questions. Office X continued thinking about the terms Office X, exhibiting, gallery, space / place, public / publishing, virtual / physical.

[Office X Team / Office X Desk]

The Domain X Team positioned itself behind the Office X desk, and provided a visual / theoretical wall-installation for the visitors, which tried to support the submissions. Each question on the form had a number, and were related to a number-system on the wall.
Office X formulated more question-questions and questions to answers, in combination with visual and written elements from i.a. the 'Domain X Archive'. The Domain X Team worked every working day on the wall-installation, and developed this catalog in the course
of the week.

[Office X = Open]

[Office X Reference Library / Office X Shop]

[Office X virtual DJ Kaktus
at opening / closing night]

[Office X physical DJ Nick at opening / closing night]

[Office X Opening / closing night]

[Office X Catalog : 'Questioning Questions Script #1: Office X']

Domain X is in process, Office X is in process,
the Call for Submissions is the process.

Domain X Gallery
in collaboration with Manetta Berends
2012 - 2013

The DOMAIN X EXHIBITION SPACE functions for us to make / experiment / try
and keep on going with our self-initiated design work, after graduation from the art academy ArtEZ in Arnhem in July 2012. The exhibition space is a virtual stage which changes in time its way of showing and presenting. This means, that not all the exhibitions will take place in this virtual space. We will curate / create / design the space so it will suit / engage with / add something to the elements in it, (probably) taken from the archive.

In DOMAIN X ARCHIVE we select / collect / edit / transform / repeat material taken
from our surroundings.

The DOMAIN X SHOP is open!



DOMAIN X ZINE #1+2 are part of the DXZ#-series, in which the process of setting up the domain X gallery will be reflected, and transformed into printed publications.

/ Stay in touch with domain X, subscribe to our newsletter
send an empty email to domainxgallery@gmx.de with the word
'newsletter' in the subject.

Virtual/ physical domain
exposed in van Ranzow zaal in Dudok
16.11.2012 - 16.01.2013, Arnhem (NL)

The poster is about the fact that internet may lead to an event, for example the revolution on the Tahrirsquare, but that this needs a physical space to make it possible to be seen.

This aspect triggered me, after I read a part in the Morf (translated from Dutch): 'But in January 2011, the revolution in Cairo correctly demonstrated that the virtual domain is not enough. After a couple of historical days on the Tahrir square it unmistakably became clear that occupation of a specific urban space was - and is - crucial for the success and continuing success of the revolution. In the beginning the many online calls were undoubtedly vital, including those from 25th January to protest against police violence. But as we know access to internet was impossible, from 28th January to 5th February, while the protest in that period increased and the protesters were even more determined by expressing their disapproval and the desire to overthrow the regime.’ (Morf 16, De publieke ruimte, Tahrirplein: publieke ruimte en revolutie, Mohamed Elshahed)

Beside the revolution in Egypt, there are several events from which this can be distracted. The events I show are: occupy, project X and the revolution on the Tahrirsquare.

The poster is composed in three layers. The first layer represents the phrase: 'To achieve something with the virtual domain, you need the physical domain'. The second layer contains articles about occupy, project X and the revolution on the Tahrirsquare, the words which have to do with the visual domain are featured. The third layer contains slashes, which are placed next to images (on which the physical space is visible) in order to make the virtual domain slash the physical domain visible.

An additional layer that arises, is that you can see the quantity of words about the virtual domain in the articles. Thus you can see these words are the most occuring ones in the articles about project X.

'Organized by rules'
controlled public space
research project, 2012
supervision Thomas Buxo & Vinca Kruk

This project dealt with the controlled public space. Public space feels public (as already indicated by the word itself) but how public is it for real? Regulations control your behaviour, the things you can do or not. I wanted to make these rules visible which are usually opaque. I did this by making ribbons which were inspired by barrier tape. Barrier tape forms a border, the same as rules are confining public space. They control a space and restrict your movements. The ribbons had another kind of function: They are made to wrap objects; when you wrap the ribbon around the object you create a second layer around it. This way, the normally invisible layer becomes visible.

Every object or situation in the project had its own ribbon, which consisted of a pattern and a text. Because of his aggressive look the pattern gives a signal. The text displays the original rule(s) of the general local regulation ‘Algemene Plaatselijke Verordening’ (APV. The organization, details, and the formal language give the text of the APV a certain beauty.

I formed three different categories of APV rules which were associated with certain colors. Forbidden (red), obligation (light blue), and law of the municipality (dark blue). When a rule belonged to more than one category I did not assign a color to it. Subsequently, I went with one ribbon to three cities and villages to wrap places, where one can sit or lay down. I did this in different cities and places because I wanted to show that one can use this ribbon everywhere and that they are not only connected to big cities or large squares.

In addition, I made a catalogue which described the whole project. I displayed all its properties, the whole text of the APV, the ribbons (1:1) as well as the context of the ribbons and what they were made for. How they work in use, which you can see on pictures that I made.




[Den Haag - Utrecht - Waalwijk]

At the Academy, 2011

At the Academy has a risograph, and during my internship I learned how to use it. In order to learn and experiment with this technique I started to make posters of different objects. With the thought of showing normal objects in a special way, I wanted to make the viewer see them differently, so he would discover the beauty of normal things. We organized a ‘Julemarked’ (Christmas market) in December, to expose and sell these posters.