Themes for the year

The umbrella notions of border, value and border value are assigned a different subtheme each year, interlinking the otherwise independent GrensWerte projects into a programmatic whole. These year themes run from April to April. The first two thematic periods [Passage and Overhanging Fruit] concerned the almost intangible three-dimensional space that is determined by barriers and passages – and everything that hangs above them and crawls under them.
From April 2013 we will be focussing on the spiritual borders. The border will be extended into the fourth dimension. Edges will become blurred, with everything becoming more diffuse, difference being more difficult to establish. At the same time, an investigation will be carried out to determine whether differences between Germany and the Netherlands are inevitable and/or inextricably linked with each other.

Year theme 2013: Best Before 


Best before is the new theme for GrensWerte: what happens when the ‘best before’ date passes, when we cross the ‘boundaries of certainty’ and when time and space expand? This year theme in fact marks the end of the Interreg IV A subsidy period for GrensWerte. Which is another reason for us to review four and a half years of GrensWerte – and to take a look into the future.

Best before is the time that remains until a specified date occurs, and which is printed on a seemingly random location on the item, forcing people to search for it: at the bottom of the item, on the lid, on the edge. It helps us in our estimations, allowing the packaging to form a judgement of the content. This year theme triggers a waste reflex. It provides an excuse to dismantle a refrigerator full of food options.

Best before urges us not to wait too long, but to enjoy the moment. It is a call to consume. It warns us not to take on more than we can, to not simply store things for no reason. What is left then – after the best before date has passed? What is the half cycle of the truth? Is our fate predestined? Is there life after death? Is cheese simply milk gone sour?


It is not possible anymore to send in new projects.


Year theme 2012: +/-

Plus or minus polarises
Plus or minus judges
Plus or minus evaluates
Plus or minus speculates
Plus or minus cancels out
Plus or minus ties together
Plus or minus balances
Plus or minus doubts
Plus or minus is tragedy
Plus or minus is comedy
Plus or minus is tragicomedy
Plus or minus is grey
Plus or minus is digital
Plus or minus is energy


Year theme 2011: Overhanging Fruit.

‘Overhanging Fruit’
‘Overhanging Fruit’ – is a titillating image of unbridled and boundless growth.  A fruitful flood from the private sphere to a public arena.  A gift but also an ordeal. 
‘Overhanging fruit’ is the forbidden fruit, a tempting and irresistible welcome from the secluded garden of Eden.  As much a victory as an example of man-made borders.
‘Overhanging fruit’ imposes itself upon the personal space of the neighbours.  Ripened and fallen fruit, but what belongs to whom?
Plucked and placed in a basket or aggressively achieved with a saw, ready for the final judgement.

My task,
Your land,
Our harvest?


Year Theme 2010: Passage

Thousands of people pass over the border between The Netherlands and Germany on a daily basis: by car, on the bus, by train, on the bike, on foot and even by air.  This a routine occurrence but at the same time out of the ordinary.

This passage exchanges one strong culturally influenced space for another.  Although the passenger doesn’t do this consciously, the action of doing so is of great cultural and personal significance.
‘Right of passage’ describes the passage, the passing and the transitional ritual.  The original identity (of the area) is let go, an indefinable and fragile no man’s land serves as a transition from which people enter a new identity.  But what are they, these new spatial identities that can be exited as well as entered?  Do they become blurred by the velocity of everyday life or actually become more definable?  Is there still a border, space or transitional area between identities?

Actuele projecten

= projects = Relay projects