In addition to its original, literal meaning – a flat shape – the term platform has migrated over time to countless figurative uses. A stable base that supports the human body, the platform shelters it and elevates it above the ground. It creates a particular place within a larger space: think, for example, of a soapbox, or a stage. In a figurative sense, platforms are places where ideas, information, images and goods can be exchanged. In the digital age the word takes on even more abstract meaning: we can speak of platform technology, platform economy, and so forth.
This series of four exhibitions is the result of an investigation into modest platforms and the ways in which they connect the human body with the surrounding physical (and sometimes digital) space. The successive installations address the yoga mat, the beach towel, the tatami and the prayer rug. The research focuses on the material and symbolic meanings of these platforms by exploring their history and the way they are used in different cultures. Although the four objects are similar in size and shape, their meanings and symbolic values are clearly different from one another.
To consider it as a platform separating the body from the ground and from other bodies and implying a set of rules and techniques offers an angle to view the history of yoga through the different materialisations of this platform: animal skin, oriental rug, blanket, living-room carpet , purpose-made mat … and even digital platform. These different manifestations show how yoga shifts over time between spiritual discipline and physical activity and East and West.
On show from 11-06-2016 to 14-07-2016
Beach visitors mark their spot with a beach towel. Along the coastline patterns emerge of all kinds of beach towels, which differ depending on the type of visitor, location and time of day. What would the history of the beach look like with the beach towel as focal point?
On show from 14-07-2016 to 13-09-2016
In traditional Japanese architecture the tatami defines the spatial relationships within and internal organisation of the living space. The human scale is reflected in this modular platform that has been a source of inspiration to many modernist architects in the West.
On show from 13-09-2016 to 21-11-2016
The prayer rug isolates its user from its immediate surroundings. Directed towards Mecca, and furnished with abstract architectonic patterns, it transports the believer to another, symbolic place.
On show from 22-11-2016 to 13-01-2017
Het Nieuwe Instituut
Tuesday — Wednesday
11.00 — 17.00
11.00 — 21.00
Friday — Sunday
11.00 — 17.00