Image: Lisa Pacini and Christine Istad, SUN, 2012
The Winter Anti Depression Show brings the summer to your doorstep. With Chris Kabel, Katja Gruijters, Ludmila Rodrigues, Kaffe Matthews, FourceLabs, Alessandro Gualtieri, Thierry Mandon, Lisa Pacini and Christine Istad.
One in sixteen Dutch suffers from the winter. Some people don’t get out of bed or perform poorly at work. Others neglect family and friends. Many go looking for sunny destinations, subtropical islands or the solarium. Opinions on the causes of winter depression differ. What is certain is that our metabolism adjusts to when it’s cold outside and the days are shorter. We have a slower pace and our senses miss stimuli. It’s a state that harks back to hibernation. Science and industry view the lack of sunlight as the culprit and stress the importance of light therapy. Dutch hospitals have special rooms for this therapy. With the help of ingenious wake-up lamps, Philips ensures people can alleviate their winter blues at home as well.
The emphasis on light can make us forget that our other senses also fall short of stimulation in the winter. We miss the scent of flowers and plants, the feeling of bare feet in the sand, the sound of crickets in the summer.
For the Winter Anti Depression Show, Marres has invited a team of designers and artists to create a house that immerses visitors in a variety of sensory experiences. Chris Kabel, Katja Gruijters, Ludmila Rodrigues, Kaffe Matthews, FourceLabs, Alessandro Gualtieri, Thierry Mandon, Lisa Pacini and Christine Istad turn Marres temporarily into an Art Resort.
The Winter Anti Depression Show is a pilot for a spectacular exhibition about the senses, Here Comes The Sun, which takes place in the former Sphinx factory in Maastricht from 21 Dec 2015 until 22 March 2016.
Chris Kabel: Touch
In the ‘Touch’ room, Chris Kabel focuses on reflexology. This alternative medicine assumes that all organs and body parts correspond to points in the feet. The floor is laid out so that the visitor’s body is massaged through the feet. Walking in the room, visitors discover which patterns and structures trigger the greatest effect. Some floor parts put pressure on the foot, while others cause nothing more than a slight tingling. The visitors determine the intensity and the desired result by choosing their own profile. Afterwards, they walk to the next room through a sea of flowers.
Ludmila Rodrigues: Move
Movement is essential for generating sensory experiences. You can use an exercise bike or workout at the gym. In all cases, it is beneficial to do joint exercises where the social component supports the physical. In this room, the designer Ludmila Rodrigues invites visitors to create choreography through joint movement. A net connects the players to each other, thus each movement elicits a series of counter-movements. In turn, the installation behaves as an additional body that the presence of the audience follows and demonstrates. The visitor moves and is (continually) moved.
Katja Gruijters: Taste
St. John’s Wort, to which a healing effect has been attributed for centuries, is the natural component in all antidepressants. You can take pills, or gloom, but you can also research what three cups of St. John’s tea per day do to you. In this room, visitors learn how this powerful herb works and experience its possibilities for a happiness diet: tea, syrup, vinaigrette, oil, tincture, ointments, and even after-sun cream.
Alessandro Gualtieri: Smell
Our winter festivals compensate for the lack of perfume in nature with strong scents: oranges, spices, pine, spirits — the scents we have come to associate with winter. Can the same be done with summer smells? Is it possible to convey a hint of summer in the middle of winter? That’s the task perfumer Alessandro Gualtieri set himself: to smell summer in winter.
Kaffe Matthews: Feel
Sound artist/composer Kaffe Matthews has designed ‘Sonic Bed’, a giant bed that moves and soothes with sound. Visitors are invited to lie down and completely relax within a composition that moves and stimulates different parts of the body as it plays. Subtle, dynamic, sometimes virtually inaudible, the Sonic Bed plays music to feel through your body as well as your ears.
In the HEAR space, FourceLabs encourages visitors to create summer landscapes. They receive a mirror upon entering a dark room. Using a central light source, this mirror can activate many summer sounds: chirping crickets, a blackbird singing, a warm breeze through the leaves, the murmur of the sea, and children on the beach. Visitors can choose to create a landscape composition together or lose themselves in their favorite summer sounds.
Chris Kabel: See
Summer happiness is not only about the radiant sun; the clear blue sky also provides energy and makes people happy. If you’re trying to find the color of the sky, then you have to get the filtering of the sunlight right. In the SEE room, Chris Kabel researches how various stages of sunlight can be generated using a wide variety of means. The designer reconstructs the clear blue sky with an installation of led light and with special synthetic light filters, colored with special nanopowders. Visitors can linger under the blue summer light and experience the feeling of a comforting, sunny summer’s day.
Lisa Pacini & Christine Istad: Sun
Working with a team of designers, the artists Lisa Pacini and Christine Istad have developed a large sun consisting of many LED lights that slowly change colour from shades of deep red to lilac. The light is extremely bright and could easily be mistaken for actual sunlight. Lisa Pacini and Christine Istad took their sun to the sun-deprived north of Norway and made a filmic report. The film also announces their next trip in which they will bring the sun from the north to Maastricht.
Winter Anti Depression Show is part of the sequence of immersive exhibitions at Marres, where artists are invited to not just exhibit an existing piece in one of the rooms, but rather to transform the entire house into in installation of their work. Other exhibitions in this sequence are Levi van Veluw: The Relativity of Matter (2014-15), The Painted Bird (2016) and Dreaming Awake (2018).
Winter Anti Depression Show is made possible with the financial support of Stichting DOEN.
Marres, House for Contemporary Culture receives structural support from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Municipality of Maastricht and the Province of Limburg.