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video installation on show at the LUNA Media Art Festival 2021, Leeuwarden

site specific work as a result of the Artist In Space residency traject Jildau Nijboer was selected for.

FRAMEWORK, 2021, video installation, three projection screens, 120x210cm



Text by Irene Xochitl Urrutia, Mexican/Canadian curator and Phd Candidate at Leiden University

FRAMEWORK was conceived by Jildau Nijboer as part of Artist In Space, a talent development program in the North of the Netherlands. The project is the result of a context-based artistic research process, co-developed with the public of Leeuwarden. In the fall of 2020 and in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Jildau worked in an open studio in the OBE Language Pavilion in the heart of Leeuwarden. Based at this location, she asked locals to send her photographs of the view from their doorways. As she received responses, Jildau engaged in conversation with the senders, both via app messages and in-person, as people spontaneously walked into her open studio. 

Why focus on doors? As Tim Ingold points out in his book Making, these “frames” are far more than just physical architectural features; what characterizes them is that we perform them in a certain way. We always look and move through doors. They are passageways, allowing us to transition between the inside and the outside, between private and public spaces, between one type of experience and another. All of this makes doors a fascinating topic of study, especially as we look back and try to make sense of moments of change, such as the coronavirus pandemic. 

In this sense, the images that Jildau collects in FRAMEWORK offer insightful glimpses into this transition. Most are taken from the inside towards the outside, as shutting doors signalled safety and comfort, but also cancelled events, bankrupt businesses, and increased precarity. Furthermore, the pictures not only depict the outside—they are also a record of participants’ moments of contemplation, as people spent more time indoors. Meanwhile, the frames of windows, porches and balconies opened into new social spaces; and digital screens and telephones allowed no-contact visits between loved ones: frames within frames.

Transition comes with discomfort. Yet, at the same time, when pictures aren’t fixed, they contain possibilities for what might be. FRAMEWORK asks: when multiple doorways collapse into focus in the world to come, what picture will they show us? And how, if at all, can we stay with and explore the space in-between frames? 

FRAMEWORK II, 2020-2021, photocollage
FRAMEWORK III, 2020-2021, photocollage