DISTANT PROXIMITY – a traveling exhibition in the EUREGIO: artists Gerda Wantia, from Germany, and Mirian Jacobs, from the Netherlands, have thought deeply about what it means to have lived close to the border with another country, to be familiar with that other country, with a language similar to one’s own, but whose histories are totally different.
Although they both now live further away from that border, they still have connections with the other country. They still live in the EUREGIO, for example, and both their partners work in the other country and even live there for part of the time. This mobility and flexibility requires that relations are ‘re-experienced’ and re-invented. The meanings of ‘near’ and ‘far’ are determined by this mentality and by the way in which we see and dream. National borders lose their meaning. It is the boundaries in our heads that determine whether something is close by or far away.
The theme of ‘Distant Proximity ‘Verre Nabijheid . Ferne Nähe’ is also evident in the joint works of Mirian Jacobs and Gerda Wantia. Both artists worked alternately on the same piece of work, characterised by the many elements originating from natural materials and colours, quotations, poems and photographs. By constantly exchanging this work, the exchange of ideas took place literally ‘from a distance’. …