In an ultimate combination of man and nature (or perhaps man versus nature), Zeger Reyers has created an enormous living art installation that climbs down from the exterior second floor level of the Mediamatic Biotoop building in Dijkspark into the Mediamatic Restaurant. Hard Water was constructed using over 1000 ceramic plates, soil and different species of grass, including Gaura and Crocosmia. These grasses are long and thin, and produce bright-coloured flowers at the tips in the Summer months. Additionally, bulbs have been planted throughout the soil in the installation and so will also make an appearance and flourish as time passes. The half-inside, half-outside; half-organic, half-man-made structure is naturally nourished by rain water.
The immense piece, designed and specially installed on location in our restaurant greenhouse, explores the tension between nature and man-made objects by confronting the artificial with biological processes. As such, the work is growing and evolving every single day with the artificial manipulating the natural and the natural equally manipulating the artificial. This changing appearance can be witnessed over the next four years, and so several visits are encouraged to grasp the full live art concept of Hard Water.
About the Artist
Zeger Reyers believes that humans have become secondary to their own manipulated environments and as such, there is now not a single cell left traversing its ‘natural' course. As such, Reyers has become one of the Hague’s most remarkable installation artists with a strong fascination for biological processes such as eating, growing, and dying. Using this fascination and all sorts of living materials, Reyers aims to show typical processes in non-typical situations, by confronting the artificial with the natural. In this way, Reyers' installations provoke a new way of observing natural processes, as well as the uncontrollable nature of biology.
It should be noted that Reyers does not aim to pass moral judgement on the influence of man on the environment. Rather, his intention is to amplify the wonders and strength of nature, whilst at the same time highlighting the vulnerability of the man-made and artificial that has become our ‘nature.’ Whilst there are always many levels of interpretations of his work, Reyers always aims to disturb our sense of comfort.
Zeger Reyers often designs his installations to fit a specific location or event. One such example is his work ‘Mussel Chair’ (Mosselstoel, 2000). For this piece, a chair was submerged in the Oosterschelde for two years to be overrun by mussels. When the chair was eventually removed from the water, it was placed inside a specially designed steamer, in order for the mussles to be prepared for dinner.
Another of Reyers’ location-specific works is 'Drum Kit' (2004). One hundred empty oil drums were tied together and floated on the sea. The tangled mass produced muffled sounds as the drums were used as an instrument by the waves, whilst simultaneously demonstrating the enormous power of the water. By the end of the seven week installation, the drums had been dented and rusted beyond recognition.
'Rotating Kitchen' is another famous work by Reyers that was especially commissioned for the 2009 Dusseldorf Kunsthalle exhibition ‘Eating the Universe.’ The kitchen appeared first as a normal, life-sized, fully-equipped room in which a chef prepared a meal. However, after the chef left the kitchen, the room rotated, tipping up all of the pots, pans and the freshly prepared food(!).
In 2011 Reyers created the installation ‘Pavillion' in the Middelheim Museum’s Renaat Braempavillion. Reyers built a sloping floor inside the pavilion, which was then covered with black earth containing spores of mushrooms. As the installation progressed, so too did the growth of the mushrooms. Visit Zeger Reyers’ Website.
Zeger Reyers at Mediamatic
Zeger Reyers is currently a Mediamatic Fellow. This means that he will be a regular face at our public lectures, so far having given talks on his work with fungi, organisms in beer and ancient distilling methods. In addition to this, Reyers will be available once a month for one-to-one discussions with other bio- or bio-curious artists, at all levels, about creating installations and working with organic matter. See our events calendar.
This piece is made possible by: Mondriaan Fonds