The Wanted Land, 2012 (the Netherlands – India)

The Wanted Land, February 15th-22nd 2012, David Hall, Fort Cochin, India

The Wanted Land is comprised of video installations that refer to the Hortus Malabaricus, its compiler Hendrik van Reede tot Drakenstein, its contemporary usage as well as the history and present-day traces of Dutch colonization in Fort Cochin.

The Wanted Land focuses on the cultural exchange that has occurred over the past 350 years on the Malabar Coast between the Dutch and the local population. This collaboration resulted in the production of the Hortus Malabaricus, a 12-volume work that illustrates with exquisite prints of around 700 medicinal indigenous plants. The Hortus Malabaricus also forms the conceptual focal point of the exhibition that will be shown in the exact location where historians presume this archival document was originally produced.

The former Dutch governor, Commodore Odatha a.k.a. Hendrik van Reede tot Drakenstein collaborated with Ayurvedic physicians, botanists, translators and artisans to produce the Hortus Malabaricus. Printed in Amsterdam between 1678-1693, names in 5 languages, it explains the medicinal workings of the plants and the knowledge contained within it is still significant today.

These video installations were part of The Unwanted Land exhibition at Museum Beelden aan Zee in Den Haag last year.

Project together with artist Renée Ridgway.
Vrije Keyser: camera, script, editing, interviews