Gare du Nord, a project initiated by Chiara Ianeselli and developed with Lucas Evers of Waag Society, was an exhibition that explored the nature of men inside the Theatrum Anatomicum and questions the identity of the Waag building as a space.
The project included contributions by Sonja Bäumel (AU), Laurent-David Garnier (FR) and Nicola Samorì (IT). Along with the curator, artists researched the historic purpose of the building. The octagonal shape of the building is telling—the Waag building played host to anatomy lessons and dissections starting in the XVII century. Gare du Nord is an exhibition that explores the nature of men inside the Theatrum Anatomicum and questions the identity of the Waag building as a space. Anatomy lessons were held in the theatre to investigate what mysteries human and animal biology would reveal when analysed. The exhibition also included the contemporary practices housed in the Waag building. In today's Waag building, the visual arts and medical sciences continue to mingle in collaborations that provide novel insights into bodies and technology.
Gare du Nord was primarily a show about the body: its shape, its membrane, and its boundaries. The sentence written along the walls of the theatre (a quote by the humanist Caspar Barlaeus) has been interpreted by the three artists in different ways. In their works, these artists have chosen different scales of perception, touch, and sight. All the works were new, site-specific commissions.
About the artists
Nicola Samorì, who represented Italy at the 56th Venice Biennale, revealed another possible use for the theatre: what if a dissected body stood up and incorporated all the identities of those that have looked upon it? Laurent-David Garnier developed a tool for observation: a kaleidoscope able to capture all the light particles that have been floating in the House of Vision. Sonja Bäumel unfolded kingdoms, colonies, and dynasties that have been, are, and will be our closest companions.
The project was supported by Waag Society, Institut Français des Pays-Bas, Austrian Embassy The Hague, and promoted by Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Amsterdam and Iamsterdam. Developed in collaboration with Museum Vrolik.