Project X

April - May 2018

Project X was developed and realized by artist Jonathan Wanders to celebrate the 10th edition of De Poorten van Reijmerstok, an international art exhibition that is organized every two years in Reijmerstok in South-Limburg (NL). The anniversary edition took place on May 21, 2018 - Whit Monday - and was themed Natúúrlijk (Natural) Reijmerstok.

The X is the Roman designation for the number 10. The anniversary theme Natúúrlijk Reijmerstok was represented by 10 trees, from small to large. Each tree stood for an edition, each time grown in quality, activities, artists, visitors and fame. Because the anniversary was a festive event, the trees were painted gold and "put on a pedestal." This pedestal consisted of 100 large wooden auction boxes lined with a layer of black agricultural foil. The boxes were connected and symbolized the connection and cooperation between the people of Reijmerstok, the associations, the municipality and those involved in the Euregio who work behind the scenes and make it possible for us to enjoy De Poorten van Reijmerstok every 2 years.

A deeper meaning behind the art project was the eternal search for an answer to the question: What is art? Recognizable, everyday elements from the environment had been taken out of their natural context and transformed and adapted in such a way that they had become a large art object. The French artist Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) was the first to present an everyday object as a work of art, an objet trouvé. This was a milestone in contemporary visual art with which Duchamp raised philosophical questions about the nature and function of art.

What is an artwork? Who decides, the artist, the critic or the spectator? Is the idea, the concept of an artwork more important than the work itself? Or is something only a work of art if it is made by a maker, preferably in an artisanal way? What is the role of art in society?

Project X was illuminated in the evening and was shown from April 13 to May 21, 2018 in a beautiful, undulating meadow in Reijmerstok, next to the parking lot of eatery A Gen Ing and the Provincial road N598.




Title: Project X
Location: Meadow in Reijmerstok (NL), next to the parking lot of eatery A Gen Ing and the Provincial road N598, municipality of Gulpen-Wittem. Publicly accessible
Process: October 2017 to April 2018
Temporary experience: April 13 to May 21, 2018
Material: 10 trees (intended as coppice), 100 large wooden auction boxes of 105x120x77 cm (wxlxh), black agricultural foil, gold paint (Decor Gold outdoor - rich gold), 10 light spots (moisture-resistant), electricity and fasteners
Dimensions: Artwork as a whole was 1.2 x 105 x 10 m (wxlxh
Client: Organization De Poorten van Reijmerstok
Sponsors: Gilles van de Wouw - praktijk voor bestuursrecht, RPO Rebema - Allround advertising, Bouwcenter Jan Opreij, Hoeve Vakanties - Jef Schreurs, DEDRIE Architecten, Aannemersbedrijf Drijvers, Fruit company Wouters, Mergelland dairy - Dairy farm Mergelland
With special thanks to: volunteers Reijmerstok during construction and dismantling of artwork, organization De Poorten van Reijmerstok, municipality of Gulpen-Wittem
Photos: Edward van Kempen, Gert Lammer, Ralph Sluysmans
© Jonathan Wanders