Photo: Loek van Vliet
Sunset in Delft reenacts the everyday phenomenon of the sun sinking into the horizon, only it does so within the urban environment. The glowing body of light is placed on the water, at the junction of the Schie with the Westsingelgracht, in the idyllic town of Delft. The town where scientist Antoni van Leeuwenhoek and painter Johannes Vermeer possibly met, while pioneering experiments with optics in the 17th century.
The 360º panoramic view of this sun sinking on water subverts the usual perspective of the celestial star moving over the horizon and lingers for a whole evening, inviting for an experience of stillness. The public is instigated to see, walk around it, relish, and perhaps feel its warmth.
As philosopher Byung-Chul Han writes in The Scent of Time: “What we experience today as acceleration is only one of the symptoms of temporal dispersal. Today’s temporal crisis is caused by a dyschronicity which leads to various temporal disturbances and irritations. (…)
The feeling that life is accelerating is really the experience of a time that is whizzing without a direction. (…) it is the atomisation of time which is responsible for dyschronicity. It is also the reason for the feeling that time passes much more quickly than it used to. Due to the temporal dispersal, no experience of duration is possible.”
Mike and Ludmila have been collaborating since 2011, sharing a fascination for the ways human perception is constructed. In their works the audience takes an active role in sensing and constructing the experience. This involves moving, listening, often touching and always reflecting on our biological, somatic, cultural conditioning. The experience becomes a proposition for expanding and rewiring our sensory skills.
Sunset in Delft was produced by Highlight Delft, with support of LucoLed, ProVlot, Stroom Den Haag, Jolly Roger boats, Rollema Logistiek, Publi air and TodaysArt Festival. 3D visualizations by Rob Bothof. Our deep thanks to Teun Verkerk, Donny Koolmees, Remco van der Velden, and the whole team of Highlight Delft who made it possible. Eternal gratitude to Toon Kennedy and Jelmer for coming up with fantastic solutions on water; also to Jan van Heijn and Natasja van der Vlist, from ProVlof for their generosity; to Olof van Winden from TodaysArt for trusting the project; to Bjarni Gunnarson for his brilliant soundtrack on the video doc; to Ingrid Rollema, Sofia Chionidou, René Bakker, Louis Braddock Clarke, and all the friends who helped us one way or another; to all the folks who visited and shared their photos with us. The crowdsourced documentation of the project is growing and will become public as soon as possible.
Mike Rijnierse & Ludmila Rodrigues selected as Faces of We Are Europe 2021.
Review on Design Boom: designboom.com/art/sunset installation
Review on AD: Sunset in Delft: ‘We willen letterlijk een lichtpuntje laten zien’ 19-11-21 (Dutch only)