door Bregje Tit
Raquel van Haver: ‘The respiratory system causes air to move through the lungs as the body’s ventilation. Breathing is an essential and vital function and ensures the supply of oxygen and the discharge of waste material. This way, oxygen is absorbed from the air into the blood and carbon dioxide is released when exhaling. Similarly, every day and night the city breathes in and out. Just like a forest, the city forms many new nutrients for stories. Love and grief, action and reaction. The city is a stronghold of energy and new oxygen supplied by the residents. It enables the city’s vital functions to literally do their work without any thought. Who are these people that live in this city and keep it going? Also in these difficult times, where breathing is particularly important.’
Listen to the following audio fragment by Spiritus sylvestre.
by Raquel van Haver / Frerara
What can be a commemorative place or monument in 2021 and who has a say in this? Who feels represented and at home in public space, and who doesn’t? The NDSM-werf Foundation is currently researching these questions with various artists. Collective Frerara – Frederick Calmes, Raquel van Haver and Raul Balai – is the first to present their images at NDSM, taken from a series of drawings for the City Archives with the title: ‘How the City Breathes’. This project is devoted to presenting the underexposed Amsterdam people and their stories that actually form the pulse of the city. The collective sees the city as a ‘living organ that each morning wakes up and never fully sleeps’.
The drawings for How the City Breathers were commissioned by the Amsterdam City Archives. During the coming months, this work, together with work by Raul Balai and Frederick Calmes, can be seen on billboards on the former wharf of the Netherlands Dock and Shipbuilding Company (NDSM-werf).