18 Sep 2009 Futureland, Ilana Halperin, Port of Rotterdam Authority, Portscapes, SKOR
As her contribution to ‘Portscapes’, New York-born Glasgow-based artist Ilana Halperin has created a spoken-word narrative in Dutch and English for visitors to the port. Available at the visitor center Futureland (map here) and online (www.portscapes.nl) from September 18 until 2013, ‘A Brief History of Mobile Landmass’ is an audio field guide inspired by a perception of Maasvlakte 2 in terms of formidable geophysical phenomena and a geological sense of time.
The artist has assembled a compelling narrative of fragments which draws on fact, fiction and personal fieldwork – as well as site surveys by volcanologists, geologists and the experts involved in the construction of Maasvlakte 2. It offers echoes, speculations and interpretations surrounding both the artificial and natural processess whereby new land is created. Recalling Jules Verne’s ‘Voyages Extraordinaires’, this 'book on tape' couples a wealth of scientific information with wonder and vivid description.
Halperin is your guide through a landscape with tales of newborn islands, otherworldly Hawaiian magma and the fire deity Pele, a Rotterdam ‘lava flow’ or the ‘industrial volcanoes’ of its port. To paraphrase Mark Twain’s astonished account of the eruption of Kilauea in 1866: “Here is room for the imagination to work!”. 'Portscapes' is an accumulative series of newly commissioned projects taking place throughout 2009 alongside the construction of Rotterdam's [51° 55' N 4° 29' E] Maasvlakte 2 (MV2) – an extension to Europe's largest seaport and industrial area which will be realised between 2008 and 2013 by reclaiming 2,000 hectare area of reclaimed land (see images here) that will extend the Port of Rotterdam, Europe's largest seaport and industrial area by 20%.
[Two first images courtesy of Ben Wind, rest of images courtesy of the artist]