2008. Anno Dijstra. MISPLACING (theoretical data)


I was a witness of the famine in Ethiopia in 1984, i was 14 years of age and was watching television at home.

What is a memory of a scene I have seen on television.  A image where I am not  direct related too, immaterial, elusive, with out a location, floating through air. I cant go back too the place where the drama happened. The television in my living room is the location where I was witness of the scene, but the television shows already other images and in my living room is nothing that refers to the drama.

Media turns me in too a passive observer. There is no possibility to make a direct reaction to what I have see on the screen. How free is observing without engagement, in other words can a witness becomes guilty when he sees but remains passive.

The reconstructions- proposals, are a attempt to break trough the passive position of the viewer. With  plasticine, a industrial clay invented to make prototypes for industrial products like cars, I am modeling images that had a great impact on me in my puberty, a moment in my live I became aware of my mortality.

The process of reconstructing process makes it able to have a direct and physical relation to a body or object from the tv image.


For the Madrid Abierto I want to research a new angle of the reconstruction/proposal  by investigating misplacement. The misplacing media caused .  In this concept a well know media icon is placed outside the original context, that is television/internet in our living room in to the public space. From the flat public space (tv) in our private place into the three dimensional public space, the place where national history is gathered through time . By the conflict erasing from the misplacing, ( I know this image but what has it got to do with this place) the new situation reveals the absurd position of the viewer, the absurd situation of being witness in the globalized media age.

In the public space a monument is placed. The monument is a reconstruction of for example the photo of a Vietnamese monk who set himself on fire or a photo taken by a soldier in Abu Ghraib on witch a prisoner is standing on a box his face covert and is connected to electricity wires.


To find the perfect spot for the misplacement and make sure the media icon has no relation with Madrid it is important to make a good observation of the city, its history, the design of the public space and other monuments. From the information of these observations I want to make the decision witch media icon I should reconstruct and where it should be placed.

I will visit Madrid for 3 days and I would like to ask the organization if it is possible to contact me with a historian and a city planner who knows a lot about Madrid and are interested to walk with me trough the neighborhoods of Madrid where the exhibition is held.

I did enclose images of my last works because I never make sketches or Marquette’s of my work, the work itself is a plan a sketch, reconstruction or proposal. And its important for me to keep that kind of discovering energy.   

The project is a new step in my work, but also coming from the reconstruction concept, former works are made from that principal, the new work is connected to these works.