Be(com)ing DutchClose Encounters
Van AbbeMuseum, Eindhoven
As their contribution to the exhibition Be(com)ing Dutch, organized by Van Abbe Museum in Eindhoven, Bik Van der Pol focussed on the Evoluon, a remarkable building in Eindhoven, former home-base of global corporation Philips.
The building opened in 1966 as an interactive museum of technology and progress, and is unique due to its futuristic design, which resembles a flying saucer. This 'flying saucer' is not fixed to its base, but resting, through gravity, on the lower part of the building. It is designed by architect Louis Kalff, and its architecture brings in mind films such as 2001, A Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick and Spielberg*s Close Encounters of The Third Kind. Even today, the building evokes imagination of utopian desires and science fiction.
So the Evoluon is not just any building. It is unique in the Eindhoven community and it has been playing a crucial role for generations of visitors from The Netherlands and abroad. By its presence in the urban environment of Eindhoven the building itself performs fiction, alienation, strangeness, and beauty.
During times of crises, fiction and fantasy create an escape route, and it is probably no coincidence that
people seem to become more receptive for phenomena that are 'not real', but produced by imaginative forces. In 1958, Carl Jung published Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies.
Jung states: "In the threatening situation of the world today, when people are beginning to see that everything is at stake, the projection-creating fantasy soars beyond the realm of earthly organizations and powers into the heavens, into interstellar space, where the rulers of human fate, the gods, once had their abode in the planets.... Even people who would never have thought that a religious problem could be a serious matter that concerned them personally are beginning to ask themselves fundamental questions. Under these circumstances it would not be at all surprising if those sections of the community who ask themselves nothing were visited by 'visions' by a widespread myth seriously believed in by some and rejected as absurd by others. "
Knowing now that the Evoluon building is not fixed to its base, it should -in theory- be possible to make this building fly, or slightly drift, at least.
A performative event at the Evoluon, with the help
of different communities and generations established the attempt to explore the potential of a collectivity of mental willpower. Is such a collective able to create, by 'tour de force' the lifting the building from its base?
This event took place on of September 14, 2008, the last day of Be(com)ing Dutch.