During the lockdown, many people saw

their world leterally shrink to their our own

houses and the emidiate surroundings.

Similarly, in the eighteenth century, one’s

social domain was often limited – especially

for women, such as Sara Rothé, a wealthy

merchant’s wife. For women of any social

standing to participate in sponaneous

outdoor entertainment as depicted in Pieter

Breughel’s fanciful painting was out of the

question. As a pastime Sara put together a

dollhouse, as an entertainment for herself

and her guests. The precision with which she

did this allows us a direct insight into her

eighteenth-century domestic life.

Haarlem-based arist Luuk Wilmering

recently built two doll houses himself.

They are not ment as showpieces but

have a (political) message. Nor are they

realistic, consiting of black-and-white

photographs of interiors of Dutch houses

and palaces dating back to between

1300 and 1800. The floors are covered

with photos of oriental carpets, as a

subtle reference to how the Dutch identity

was partly formed by external influences

through trade, colonial expansionism and

migration. The works demonstrate that it

is hard to distinguish what comes from

‘inside’ from what comes from ‘outside’.

INSIDE⎢OUTSIDE (until 18 Oktober 2020)

Double Dutch dollhouse  (2017 – 2020)

Luuk Wilmering's contemporary dollhouses

resemble modernist, black-and-white tower

blocks. The doll house of Sarah Rothe in

this room is a realistic miniature of a real

eighteenth-century house, decorated in one

characteristic style. Wilmering's installation

contains a variety of styles and consists of

photos of various historical interiors. He refers

to the concepts of a 'national identity' as well

as 'pure individuality. After all, every culture

is also built up of elements that come from

'outside' via trade, war, colonial rule or import

of labour. But what exactly is from 'inside' and

what comes from 'outside'? What is 'ours' and

what is 'theirs'? And who determines that?

The beauty of our country  (2016)

Haarlem-based artist Luuk Wilmering often

uses collage techniques in his works. He uses old

photos from books and archives, and merges

different persons and objects together. In this

way he creates - both literally and figuratively –

a new vision of what already existed.

These works consist of photos illustrating

Dutch 20th-century architecture and costumes.

They are part of the series The beauty of

our country, in which Dutch photographer and

resistance hero Cas Oorthuys ( 1908-1975)

shows the reconstruction operations in our

country after World War II. With his collages,

Wilmering emphasizes the tension between

the belief in progress and the conservatism

of tradition.