At the beginning of a new year people tend to make resolutions. Personally, I am not so interested in those private lists of do’s and don’ts. I would rather reflect on how to live together in a world full of contradictions. Last year an older project of Droog, Identity Land, was presented at the HOME/HOPE exhibition at the Larnaca Biennale in Cyprus. Yes, Identity Land, a project we did together with Erik Kessels, took place in 2012 in Z33, Hasselt. But now, 12 years later…with immigration and nationalism on the rise, conflicts between countries exploding and on-line filter bubbles accelerating polarization, the themes and ideas of Identity Land are more relevant than ever.
Identity Land was a concept for a fictional society that could merge anywhere and everywhere. It playfully stressed the need for new frameworks. In Identity Land, the framework for identity is no longer provided by the nation. Instead, it is acknowledged that people want both self-identity and collective identity. In a playful tone the project proposed values for Identity Land, while replacing the usual national symbols: the portrait of a Queen, King or President on the coin has been polished down to a mirror, the flag is transparent and the anthem is a medley of all the world’s anthems. They depict non-identity, hyper-individual identity, fluid identity and plural identity.
Identity Land takes an optimistic stance on a pluriform society in which everyone can follow their own identity. But people also want to identity with others, and not just their family and friends, but also those with whom they share a similar view of the world.
In the next months I will be revisiting this project by taking it as a starting point for a new exhibition, called ME/YOU, US/THEM. This spring the exhibition will be on show at the gallery in Droog. More details I will drop soon, but for now, I wish you a good start of the year!