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Ilke Gers, Open & sneller, TENT 2022. Photos by Aad Hoogendoorn.

Ilke Gers

The chalk drawings Ilke Gers has made across the floors of TENT, respond to the architecture, history, use and rhythms of the building. She plays with movement and signage, and our reading and physical negotiation of the built environment.

The designed environments we inhabit facilitate our movements , but also script them. Yet its everyday users don’t necessarily follow the official line. They take short-cuts and detours, cutting through shrubbery or seeking shade, leaving trails of alternative possibilities. This is the intuitive logic of desire lines, also known as elephant trails, pirate paths or free-will ways, where multiple feet form a spontaneous gesture of reappropriating public space.

The exhibition title ‘open & sneller’ (open & faster) is a quote from the public space of Rotterdam, connecting Gers’ work with the upsurge in construction and demolition in the city. When the regular route towards the cycling tunnel under the river Maas was closed for renovation, myriad informal paths appeared. Each time bikers found a new pathway, a fence emerged to block it. This tug-of-war came to a truce when a hand-written sign with the message ‘open & faster’ pointed to an opening further down the road. Paved through repeated use, it became the new fastest access to the tunnel.

Gers’ play of lines recalls road markings and sports fields and invites an improvised response. As well as triggering your curiosity to explore, her chalk lines also prompt a slowing down and a question of the care you take when moving through a communal space.

On Saturday 4 June there will be an opening event in the installation from 15:00-18:00h. Feel welcome to join us and meet Ilke Gers. Reservations are not required.

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As the first chalk lines will be set by Ilke Gers as from upcoming Friday 27 May, you can visit us from that day on and see the installation grow.


Ilke Gers