Fear, as we see it, is a part of our childhood, our every day life, politics, relationships, modern society, and our future. Fear is also vividly present in our personal and collective history, and intricately connected to our myths and fairy-tales. Yet, somehow there is a distinct absence of fear in our homes, our cities, and localities. Just like pain, fear is only palatable in urgency: for example, in therapy, in the moments of impossibility, in dangerous instances, or in media and politics to shape our views.
'Private Dreams and Public Nightmare' is an ongoing and site-specific experiment/research. The idea was to continue with a our research/experimental approach, which began in January 2019 in Germany, to generate themed artworks in various mediums. People are invited for workshops, experiments, performative actions; and they will spend the night experiencing performative nightmares [not as in a scary mansion, but in a more subtle manner whereby they are invited to reflect and contemplate on fear]. Naturally, this will generate data overtime, and our end result will be ever-growing and ever-changing.
What we aim to achieve is a curated archive of sorts: an archive of fear. This sheds a light on fear, captured and encased. Included in this archives are artworks, sound files, commentaries et cetera as form of data, which will then be compiled as exhibited. The variation in art medium is to include the different sensorial experience of fear--whether through, sight, sense, hearing, or smell. So as a part of the Oosterdok Olfactory History, we would like to tackle one overarching question: what does fear/nightmares smell like in Amsterdam? Through this question, we shall begin a creative re-framing of some difficult narratives surrounding Dutch history and Amsterdam's involvement.