Podcast #5: The Butterfly House

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Artists should not just show with their work that things are going badly with nature, but go a step further and really make a difference, says Stefan Cools in "What's That Doing Here?

In the fifth episode of our podcast, Esther Didden and co-host Rachel Bacon spoke with artist and botanist Stefan Cools and landscape designer Sandra van den Beuken of The Butterfly House about Op 't Rentelen. This is a 1.3-acre plot of farmland that they lease from the Province of Limburg. They will transform this plot into an ecological flowery grassland through participatory and educational projects.

Cools will use parts of the harvest for his works of art. Cools and Van den Beuken's plans consist of a combination of art and nature development in which knowledge about the landscape is central. They are collaborating with ecologists for this purpose, among others. Forester ecologist Stephan Huijgens of the Dutch Forestry Commission is ONEn of them, and he talks about the added value of The Butterfly House, and the difference in approach between the two of them.

Is it true that ecologists serve more of a niche and artists have their sights set on the broad horizon, as Cools and Van den Beuken claim? And which perspective weighs most heavily in their work, ecology or art?


At www.bkinformatie.nl/podcast, in addition to listening to podcasts, you can comment on the statements we formulate for each episode. The statement accompanying the podcast with The Butterfly House: Artists should not only show with their work that nature is doing badly, but go one step further and really make a difference.


About the podcast
Under the title What's that doing here? BK-information brings a ten-part podcast series about artists and the social issues they deal with. In each episode, philosopher and expert on art in public space Esther Didden and a co-host discuss artists who realize their work within a social context. A context in which very different criteria apply than within the "usual" art discourse. Why do they work within that context and what does it bring to their artistry? What criteria do they have to deal with? And what does it bring to society? What does an artist add when he or she sits at a conference table?
You can also listen to the podcast via:
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The next podcast appears on June 9. That's when we talk with visual artist Tirzo Martha. He creates sculptures in close collaboration with residents. For him, art is a way to be socially engaged. In his work, he brings different communities together by adding visual elements that reference different cultures and contexts. With this involvement, Tirzo Martha wants to use clichés and generalizations of certain themes and symbols occur. His installations are characterized by a multiplicity of objects, materials and techniques. All sorts of references can be discovered in them. His work deals with the history of slavery, tourism and political corruption, as well as the daily habits and living conditions of the inhabitants. How does he manage to make art with and for the community? What does this self-chosen connection bring him?
What is that doing here? is made possible in part by the Mondrian Fund and the Pictoright Fund.

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