In Passing

My friend babysits a three-year old boy named Sam, and everyday on the way to the park he insists that they stop at this particular construction site where they’ve been tearing down a house and digging out a new foundation. Against all common sense, my friend and the workers actually let him stumble around the plot, and then talks about it breathlessly for the rest of the day. It’s interesting the way kids fixate on these things. In the U.S., they have a whole video series of bulldozers moving dirt around marketed specifically to children. Is this an extension somehow of their dinosaur fetish? As in, here is my toy brontosaurus, but it’s bigger now and that’s awesome? My friend has a different theory. She believes that it’s related to the child’s burgeoning awareness that the world exists beyond them, and that it is not a monolithic place but frangible, anarchic and can be affected by the will. She thinks that seeing the earth itself moved on such a grand scale is fundamentally liberating for children. And I suppose that’s why she lets Sam walk around the construction site.

 In the photographs of Annegien van Doorn, we see this childlike thrill and embrace of an uncertain, unstable world… Read the entire text by Lorne Darnell


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“In Passing” is supported by the AFK (Amsterdam Fund for the Arts)