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Dutch Open Air Museum, 'Makers in the Picture', 2021

Soda developed the concept and the design for 'Makers in the Picture' - which is on display in the Wagenhal of the Dutch Open Air Museum - in collaboration with studio-PA2 (Pieter Aartsen). In this exhibition present-day craftsmen are the central focus. They are interviewed in video portraits: from a ship carpenter and a clog maker to a maker of breast prostheses and an henna artist. All of them are masters regarding problem-solving and work with respect for their surroundings and their clients. With their handmade, unique products, they form a counterweight to today's throw-away culture. 'Makers in the Picture' therefore also relates to important issues such as sustainability and identity.

 

Soda brought alle these stories together in the middle of the space: on an apparently floating field that is covered with transparent fabric. Through the fabric, the visitor can see the objects that are grouped on coloured areas. Meanwhile, video portraits of the craftsmen are projected onto the fabric frame. When one of the makers is speaking in the particular video (shown in colour), the others remain silent and the visitor watches them silently continuing their handiwork (shown in black and white). This approach brings the makers, the objects and their stories closely together - as if under a glass bell: what is shown is of value. The gaze of the visitor gently glides through the layers, from the videos and the objects to the view through the windows, outside where the museum, and thus the stories of crafts, continues.

 
 

The videos were made by Julia Roeselers (interviews and camera) and Pieter van Lier (editing and video).