A sense of “place” is central in Harm van den Berg’s work. Using different media (painting, sculpture, sound, video) and crossing boundaries between them, Van den Berg portrays landscapes in which spectators can enter and lose themselves.
For the installation Lullaby Land, the artist asked people from all over the world to sing a lullaby they remember from their childhood. Recordings of these songs were then merged together into a sound collage that is presented through a customized radio. It appears as if the songs – invisibly floating in the air like radio waves – are received by a world receiver. Most of the songs are incomprehensible, but the universal message of these songs surpasses language.
The second part of the installation consists of a painting of a nighttime sky filled with stars and a full moon: an image everyone knows from childhood. In reality, everybody looks at the same sky with the same stars, but all from different points of view – both topographical and cultural. Therefore the same sky looks different to everyone. To stress this, van den Berg broke the painting in several parts. The cracks and tears between the parts reminded the artists of noise waves, analogous to sounds a radio makes when it’s between two radio stations.
About the Artist
Harm van den Berg (b.1970) is an artist who lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He received his BA from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy (Amsterdam) in 1996. As a sound artist, he investigated the boundaries between image and language in different forms of representation, including film, musical performances, installations and CD’s. He has performed at such venues as The Paviljoens in Almere (NL), Zoo Gallery, Nantes (FR), Galeria Klovicevi, Zagreb (HR) and the Crossing Border Festival, Amsterdam (NL). His work has been shown at the Goethe Institute Amsterdam, W139, Arti et Amicitiae, Amsterdam and De Voorkamer, Lier (B). Van den Berg has received grants from the Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture.
Image courtesy the artist.