The 35,000 kilometres that Wim Gijzen covered resulted in a single panorama photograph for each municipality comprising two postcards- one showing the image, the other the address side with stamp - together with a photograph of the shop and the post-box. ‘Greetings from...' at the Kunsthal is a documentary exhibition about the conceptual art project ‘Een bezoek aan alle 863 gemeenten van Nederland (A visit to all 863 municipalities in the Netherlands) and provides a fascinating portrait of the Dutch social environment as it was in the 1970s, viewed through the lens of 2015.
It depicts the landscape as it was then and the village shops that have since all but disappeared. The photographs and postcards also show the burgeoning new housing developments, old post-boxes, ‘nodding donkeys', folk costumes, billboards, fashion and cars. Looking at the images we have to conclude, it would seem, that our world has changed quite significantly in a period of less than fifty years. Since1 January 2015, the Netherlands has comprised just 393 municipalities.
The exhibition is accompanied by a comprehensive book ‘Een bezoek aan alle 863 gemeenten van Nederland- 1972'(Dutch), published by Van Spijk/Rekafa Publishers in collaboration with the Verbeke Foundation (Belgium), ISBN 9789062169832.
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