Paradise/Desperate Times

In this TaNDEm project we had an opportunity to create a Dutch-German collaborative project. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic our project kicked off with a series of ZOOM talks centered around each artists interpretation of our central theme, represented by our title; Paradise/Desperate Times.

Paradise can be hidden in small things: a space that is (temporarily) unrestrained by rules and regulations can be the breeding ground for a form of proliferation that does indeed have ‘paradisiacal’ aspects. There were two aspects that served as inspiration for initiating this project; unplanned urban nature and the phenomenon of the cultural freehaven. The concept of alternative forms of life (affordable, sustainable, collective) serves as an inspiration for an alternative form of problem solving.

In the context of current socio-economic and environmental problems, many people feel powerless. However, there are always individuals and groups who counterbalance this at the local level. Such initiatives often remain under the radar, while they can be seen as very positive forms of (immaterial) urban development; small paradises in the midst of chaos. Likewise, urban nature is the form of spontaneous growth is unexpected places can be seen as a vegetative equivalent of the cultural freehaven.