De Gegroeide Plek (The Grown Place) shows a series of drawings and authentic artifacts with which the Dutch visual artist Alle Jong (1988) brings history and imagination together in a very special way. The exhibition features a gigantic 17th-century Bible, which has been rediscovered after lying in a well for many centuries and has been drying for years. With this object, Jong tries to create a Historical Sensation (a concept derived from the well-known Dutch cultural historian Huizinga).
The Historic Sensation, according to Huizinga, was a sudden emotion that one can experience in direct contact with the past, in which the time difference seems to disappear. Time dissolves in the moment of that historical sensation and you are briefly in the past. With the presence of this book, Jong wants to let you encounter the experience of the past, and make you feel one with the past.
The historic bible contrasts with his drawings in which Jong uses references with fragments of the past combined with references to the present. He creates light tunnels of time in which landscapes full of ruins give us the feeling that time is nowhere to be found. With his drawings he builds a bridge between the present and the past. De Gegroeide Plek is like wandering in a timeless history.
His young but versatile oeuvre is full of references to ancient art. The media that he uses vary from giant charcoal drawings to original 17th, 18th and 19th century archives or objects. He often starts from existing images to create a new reality with it. In doing so, he delves into important events from the past that have a major impact on the here and now.
Image: Alle Jong, De Brief (The Letter), Ink charcoal and aquarel on paper, 58×100 cm, 2019, courtesy of Caroline O'Breen