Nothing is Something to be Seen, Inge Meijer's second solo exhibition, presents work emerging from a variety of fascinations that converge in the spaces of AKINCI. The title, a remnant of a sentence from artist Walid Raad that resonated with Meijer long after. Why are some things nothing and others something? How can you begin to see something that is nothing? In Nothing is Something to be Seen, Inge Meijer searches for moments and impressions that make invisible forces visible. In her work Car Garden (2021), she blends her car into its surroundings by covering it with as many plants as possible.
Inge Meijer was inspired by the work of Duván Antonio Ramírez, a plant breeder in Medellín, Colombia, who uses the exterior of his car to transport his plants. Meijer: "Cars are such functional objects, you see them everywhere and they take up a lot of space. Since I’ve known Ramirez's work, I see cars covered with plants everywhere. This became a starting point for new work". From here she worked with the Green Group volunteers of 'the Tropical Greenhouse' in Friesland, where she was artist in residence this summer in art house SYB.
In the midst of research for Car Garden, Meijer came to know the history of 'the Tropical Greenhouse', a greenhouse in Beesterzwaag, built by the noble family Lycklama à Nijeholt. For over fifty years Geert Hemminga, the father of Green Group volunteer Sjoukje Hemminga, maintained the plants of this family which flourished from his care. Meijer printed eight of his used handkerchiefs with photos of the plants he cared for in Handkerchiefs (2021). This is further explored in the article Kunst en ecologie: De laatste sanseveria by Roos van der Lint in De Groene Amsterdammer.
The walls of AKINCI are covered with the Plant Collection (2016-ongoing), a wallpaper of archival photographs from the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam - a documentation of the plants that stood next to the artworks in the museum between 1945 and 1983. Previous output of this artistic research can be found in the artist book that Inge Meijer made in collaboration with Roma Publications The Plant Collection (2019), which includes a special edition with a cutting of the SMA's last sanseveria.
The maquette Wrapped Trees (Kanaalweg, Leiden, 2021) is presented in the remaining space of the gallery. This work evokes associations with the work of the artist duo Jeanne-Claude and Christo. Wrapped trees play in a Kafkaesque scenario as a glitch to prevent birds from nesting in trees on properties that are planned for development. Recreating this scheme offers the opportunity to take a closer look at the wrapped trees in this temporary state.