The Poacher’s Focus

24 January till 28 February 2016

Transition of a City From a Poetic Perspective by Maarten van de Berg - poetry- and Bert Janssen - photography -

Architecture is a language: an expression commenting on our times and manifested in the built environment. A building forms a physical representation and interprets the cultural and technical values central to the time it is built in. Our towns and villages also provide our identity, shaping who we are. The tension between continuity and change is related to the ability of a building, area, or city to change its function, and this is relative to how the organisation of society demands change. Our language and manner of articulation are also subject to the ravages of time.

It is precisely this relationship that is central to ‘The Poacher’s Focus, Transition of a City From a Poetic Perspective’.

Transition – the changing urban landscape – informs Maarten van de Berg’s poetry and Bert Janssen’s photography. Together they looked for locations with a limited shelf life. Decaying industrial buildings and undeveloped land inform how new directions for future urban living environments are determined.

By employing volatile, ephemeral materials, such as children’s chalk and masking tape, the poet applies forms of guerrilla poetry to endorse the temporality of things.  The photographer provides a framework and brings the corresponding time to a standstill.

The rendering of their common perspectives on a changing city is shown at Bureau Europa in the Timmerfabriek, which is located in a district currently in transition: the Sphinxkwartier. The photographs and poems will be reunited in a publication.

the poacher's glance

beneath a half-hearted, cloudy sky
pregnant with autumn
dwindling light
scours the abandoned factory site

I crouch to thriving concrete
and scrape sharp edges from my shadow
amid elephant grass and dandelion

I poach for yesterday's remains

bricked-up windows show me
why I resist understanding
the loss of loved ones
and a lifetime of suffering

trees die a little in autumn
finding back their strength in spring
to become more beautiful every summer
how I strive for clear depth

setting traps of light

in my crystal quest for simplicity
where over and over
the loot needs to be
unravelled and arranged

there is no escape

in the daily battue
aging needs no mention

while the cold fire of wisdom
requires labour and resolve

with a poacher's glance

Concept and initiative
Maarten van de Berg (poetry) and Bert Janssen (photography).

The opening speech will be given by Saskia van Stein, Director Bureau Europe.
Alderman Gerdo van Grootheest and conservator Ad Himmelreich give short lectures on transition of the city of Maastricht. Maarten van den Berg will recite one of his poems.

Opening and book presentation: Sunday 24 January, 14:00 - 16:00
Exhibition: 24 January - 28 February
Entrance: 3 euro, students 1 euro, free entrance for Museumjaarkaarthouders
Location: Bureau Europa


Maarten van de Berg – poetry - and Bert Janssen – photography-

Photos of the opening of the exhibition

Photos of the exhibition