marjolijn dijkman

Marjolijn Dijkman, Here be Dragons, 2009.

Marjolijn Dijkman, Here be Dragons, 2009. Courtesy of the artist

In her project for Portscapes, Marjolijn Dijkman gained inspiration from the blank spots on old navigational charts (among others the Lenox Globe, ca. 1530) which were inscribed with the words ‘Hic sunt dracones’ (‘Here be Dragons’). With this phrase, the cartographers indicated the edges of the as yet unknown world, the terra incognita. Working from the motifs of ‘uncharted islands’ and ‘sea monsters’ in literature and popular culture, Dijkman developed a video that elaborates on the mythological potential and the possible presence of monsters – often dragons – in the new section of the Netherlands that will come into being with the emergence of Maasvlakte 2 from the sea.
Through the motif of the dragon, Marjolein Dijkman also explores the Dutch connection with Asia. ‘Maasvlakte 2 has strong ties with China,’ says Dijkman, ‘The existing trade and the new expansion of the port are very different from a Dutch or a Chinese perspective. In a strange, incomparable way, there is a big difference between the European dragon and the Chinese dragon, or dragons elsewhere in the world. European dragons were known to instill fear in people, whereas Oriental dragons, in contrast, were viewed as protectors.’

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The making of

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From the autumn of 2008 to the autumn of 2009, working in collaboration with David Maroto and TENT (Rotterdam), Marjolijn Dijkman (1978, lives and works in Rotterdam) organised a series of presentations by and for Rotterdam artists, architects, designers and theorists under the name Corrillos. The program tries to obtain an insight in the singular art scene in Rotterdam, which mainly works and exhibits outside of its home city. The Spanish word corrillos stands for an informal meeting of people who casually gather together and discuss whatever topic in a non-hierarchic way.