“Sitting is one of the greatest pleasures of walking.”
Dillon de Give, 2014

1.Once upon a time I saw an older man putting down a white plastic chair in the middle of a small square near my studio. He sat down as if he were home, at home, at his house :
he transformed public space into a private place. The world belonged to him.

2. While staying at the residency “het Vijfde Seizoen” (translation: the Fifth Season*) at the grounds of a Psychiatric Hospital in Den Dolder (NLD) I saw white plastic chairs left behind everywhere. At the same time I read a book by Roy Villevoye who photographed a white chair on a patio in Papua New Guinnee. I became aware that this chair may be a (or the) universal chair.

3. Sitting (in Dutch: Zitten) has the connotation of “Being Somewhere”.
So when I ask someone “Waar zou je willen zitten” (Where would you like to sit?) I actually am asking where would you like to be? This implies an inquiry after what the person likes as an environment. By sitting down somewhere we choose to be a part of it. It is a kind of appropriation.

4. In the Western world we spend hours per day in front of our computer, spending time on the World Wide Web. Where are we really “sitting”?

5. A White Plastic Patio refers to being in the physical world of the body and the senses.
To being Here and Now.

6. An Abandoned White Plastic Patio Chair equals Presence by Absence.
Ienke Kastelein is interested in perception. She raises questions about when and how facts are transformed into fiction, and when reality is perceived as a metaphor.
Hence walking and sitting have become essential research methods as well as performances. Public space is conceived as the studio and walking is approached as a performance in which participants are the actors as well as the spectators at the same time, where as the behaviour of passers-by is suddenly transformed into an extraordinary reality. Her approach can be perceived as scenography of the street. Kastelein started out as a photographer and has been shifting her attention towards reality itself - using her camera merely to document. She is interested in the narrow boundary between ‘acting’ in real life and performance. She is especially interested in sitting and walking as a conscious way of being and as the actual sensatory experience. Her whole body of work is a research and a reflection on being present and presence itself.
Ienke Kastelein lives and works in Utrecht, the Netherlands.