Henk Schut

– Lost Sound 2023

When Henk Schut visits Watou he can’t help but notice how quiet it is. The idyllic, seemingly virgin landscape makes it possible to step back completely from modern life. But before long he discovers a satellite picture in which the Patchwwwork camp is clearly visible for all the world to see. With his sound installation Schut aims to express the issue of the local voyage of discovery as opposed to a world that faces climate changes and plummeting biodiversity.

Inspired by the silence, he makes sound recordings with specially designed microphones of his own making. Schut and his team use contact microphones to listen to trees and the effect of the wind. There are the deep sounds of earth, registered with special depth microphones. The chemical processes of mushrooms are made audible by converting minimal electric currents into sound. In addition they also make underwater sound recordings. The sum of all the recordings makes the various dimensions of the landscape audible. Latour’s “Parliament of Things” gives the landscape its own voice.

Schut uses software designed and made by Robin Koek to connect these local sounds with the world. He uses it to register data broadcast by NASA on changing climate conditions. The end result is a sound installation with 25 suspended and 17 standing speakers enabling visitors to experience the mix of normally inaudible sounds. Together the speakers create sounds that can move through space, like the wind rushes through the trees.

De Lovie castle has a rich history as a summer residence for noble families, a military HQ during WWI and a sanatorium for TB patients. At the moment it is a home for children, youths and adults from the Westhoek suffering from mental and other disorders. It is gradually being developed as ‘open heritage’ where encounters and connection are central, making it the obvious location to house Schut’s installation.

1975, NL

Henk Schut is a multidisciplinary visual artist whose ideas derive from posing questions, looking into environments, communities, historical events and current affairs. With each project he looks for the most suitable form in which to express his ideas. His work often contains a certain playfulness – without trivializing the subject, but in way that reinforces its explanatory power. He has an integrative approach to the environment where he presents his work. Architectural space and sound therefor often play an important role.
The diversity of his skills gives him the freedom to move between different art forms. Each art form nurtures the other and themes develop through the different disciplines. Any specific work is a crystallization of this continuous proces.
He started his career as a theatre designer and director for which he was twice nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award. Since 2000, after having lived in London for 16 years, he works from his multidisciplinary studio on the NDSM Werf in Amsterdam. Here he collaborates with many craftsmen who also work at the NDSM Werf: a community of artists and craftsmen of all art disciplines, who have their own workplaces in this location too.

He is interested in the relationship between space, sound and time. How does sound influence the perception of a location and thus our vision of our environment.

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