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Mark

InSITU:F1881 Operatie Maasmond


Fort1881, in the past also known as 'Fort Maasmond' is a military coastal defense fortress, its design is based on the so called 'Pantserfort' architecture. It is build between 1880 and 1889, directly following the completion of “De Nieuwe Rotterdamsche Waterweg” in 1872. Its purpose, the protection of the Maas estuary. After the completion of “De Waterweg” in 1872, the Rotterdam harbor area was suddenly confronted with a shortened and open connection to the North Sea. This new route increased strategic values of the harbor for the hinterland, making it an interesting target for enemy fleets.
By dint of new development in weapons and arms industry around the 1880’s the Dutch government decided to build several armored fortresses close to – or in – open estuaries and waterways, protecting exposed harbors and vulnerable passageways into the country. Fortress 1881 in Hoek van Holland is one of these fortresses. It is one of the best kept military complexes of that era.  



In the winter of 2016, Onno Dirker, Christian van der Kooy and me worked with 8 students from the ArtScience department on a three month residency in and around  this historically significant location. As a temporary commanding crew of this bastion we created new ideas, impressions and images for a story that has been told many times. Fortress 1881 is our vehicle for doing so; the fortress and its surrounding area are perfect examples of wondrous conjunctions between architecture, technology and geological engineering. It reveals to us the underlying futility of attempts made by humans to use technology and skill to get a grip on our surroundings.
We are, and always will be, run out by our own future. 


Mark