This looks like an open air museum, thought artist and writer Michael Blum during his visit to Arnhem. He discovered the city’s many monuments, almost all of which commemorate the Battle of Arnhem. After September 1944, the city has clearly moved on, leaving the remnants of World War II behind. We have to incorporate them in the city, Michael concluded.
For SONSBEEK ’16, Michael has therefore installed new memorial stones at twelve memorial sites in Arnhem. These black granite plates, each with different texts etched onto them, bring alternative stories to light, telling the hidden stories of famous and less famous people and places. Michael rewrites cultural and historical stories from his home in Montreal. He is known for turning familiar facts upside down. His approach is similar to that of a journalist, a scientist, a historian, and a detective.
From Lombok to Klarendal and
Presikhaaf: these monuments reveal an entirely new Arnhem, one far removed from
the textbooks, tourist guides, and histories that we know. The stories are a
combination of history, hard facts, and speculation.