Can you show me the way to the CBK?

Scattered throughout the city and the suburbs, 160 locations, enamel on steel

At 160 spots in Emmen, I asked passers-by to show me the way to the CBK, the art centre located in the town hall. I photographed these people – while pointing – against a recognizable background.

Via various processes these photos were then made into enamel signs. These signs were installed on posts and walls at the places where the “pointers” stood. In this way a layered piece of art emerged, spread over the entire town. The recognizable background, which echoes on the sign, functions as a means of orientation. When one follows the signs, one will (eventually) end at the CBK.

The piece is a monument of time: people become old, architecture, fashion, cars, etc., change(s), but the images stay the same. Because the environment is recreated in monochromatic imagery, a sort of noise reducers are created.

The execution took place from 1996 until 1998, partly to capture the seasonal changes. The result was made through intensive collaboration with the locals.

In 2016 the signs were touched up and rearranged and were installed as a collection on a wall of the town hall. Missing signs (which were damaged or stolen) were remade as aluminium prints.

  • Markt engels

    Photograph for enamel sign

  • emmen-1 engels

    Enamel sign

  • emmen-5 engels

    Enamel sign

  • Enamel sign

  • Collection photographs for enamel signs

  • Collection photographs for enamel signs

  • emmen-2 engels

    Rearranged and installed as a collection on a wall of the town hall, 2016