Vathorst Grand Parade
'A Line-up of Favourite Things’
by Neeltje ten Westenend
Saturday 4 June 2005
‘I believe that nowadays the car is quite an accurate equivalent of the large Gothic cathedrals (...), which are more consumed as an image than an item of use by a whole people who thereby appropriated an entirely magical object.’ These words open Roland Barthes’ famous 1957 book ‘Mythologies’ which concerned the then new Citroën DS. Nicknamed the Goddess, it presents the DS as a supernatural object. From then on, the car is no longer a prime example of strength and technical innovation, but it has become a spiritualised object one with man and his (home) environment, as ‘humanified’ art cherished with ‘amorous dedication’.
On Saturday 4 June 2005, the Vinex-suburb Vathorst (large-scale new housing development) will host VATHORST GRAND PARADE, a parade in which contemporary cars – as the favourite consumer products of Vathorst inhabitants – take centre stage. The concept for the parade was developed by designer Neeltje ten Westenend, as the temporary conclusion to her research project ‘Who’s Afraid of Vinex?’.
The study represents Ten Westenend’s fascination for the extent to which the designed environment in a Vinex-suburb like Vathorst influences the identity of its inhabitants and vice versa how the inhabitants’ identity is expressed by their homes, gardens, clothes, and, subsequently their car. Her study focuses on the transition between public and private spaces, and where do these overlap more seamlessly than in a Vinex-suburb? It is precisely these pioneering areas that serve as archetypes of ideal living; it is here that the utopian promise – living in a malleable environment – becomes reality.
If the exhibition at Casco (19 February-20 March) lovingly focussed on the manner in which the Vinex-suburb inhabitants express their identity through interior design, VATHORST GRAND PARADE sees inhabitants presenting their ‘favourite thing’ in a public space. It is with equal dedication that Neeltje ten Westenend calmly reveals the relationship between inhabitant and car, inside-outside using this parade, but with an eye for detail echoing Barthes’ sensual description of the Goddess-like DS.
The car parade will move through Vathorst on 4 June, choreographed by Martin Butler and welcomed with bunting and flags and musically enlivened by the local fanfare, against the film-like backdrop of Vinex-suburb.
When: Saturday 4 June 2005, 1.30-3 pm
Where: Vathorst (Amersfoort)
Take the train to Amersfoort-Schothorst, 12.43 pm bus 5 direction Zielhorst, busstop: Bergenboulevard.
Take the A1, exit 13 (Amserfoort-Noord), park your car for free at the C1000-Bergenboulevard.
This project was made possible with the financial contributions of Casco, the city of Utrecht, the Mondriaan Foundation, and the Fonds BKVB and realised with the collaboration of Showband Animato, Vi Va Vathorst and Vario Mundo.