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The CCA presents “17 Volcanoes: works by Franz Wilhelm Junghuhn, Armin Linke and Bas Princen”


November 2, 2016
by Canadian Architect

Bas Princen. Volcano Walk, Kawah Putih (White Crater), 2015. C-print, 180 x 225 cm. Photo credit: © Bas Princen

Bas Princen. Volcano Walk, Kawah Putih (White Crater), 2015. C-print, 180 x 225 cm. Photo credit: © Bas Princen

From 29 September 2016 to 22 January 2017, the CCA presents the exhibition 17 Volcanoes: works by Franz Wilhelm Junghuhn, Armin Linke and Bas Princen, curated by Philip Ursprung and Alex Lehnerer.

In disseminating critical discourse and in alignment with its curatorial practice, the CCA collaborated with the Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture (gta) offering an unusual architectural scrutiny of transformation of contemporary landscapes. 17 Volcanoes revisits the explorations by German-Dutch explorer Franz Wilhelm Junghuhn who made several expeditions in Java in the service of the Dutch colonial authorities between 1836 and 1848. He was among the first colonists to climb the island’s many volcanoes. His legacy in the realm of cartography, botany, geology and writing can be compared to the role of Thomas Stamford Raffles, Alfred Russel Wallace or Alexander von Humboldt.

Bas Princen. Volcano Walk, Gunung Merapi (plateau), 2015. C-print, 125 x 156 cm. Photo credit: © Bas Princen

Bas Princen. Volcano Walk, Gunung Merapi (plateau), 2015. C-print, 125 x 156 cm. Photo credit: © Bas Princen

Exploring 17 of his favourite Javanese volcanoes, the project sheds light on Junghuhn as an imaginary guide and as an exemplary figure in order to find out more about the relation between tourism, travel, research, and about the way sites have been transformed into sights and tourist attractions. These volcanoes mark territories that allow the interweaving of historical and contemporary narrative of Indonesia. As politically, economically, and culturally charged objects that behave in periodic cycles, these volcanoes are neither urban nor rural, neither alive nor dead, neither past nor present, and neither good nor bad.

Armin Linke. Kawah Ijen. Biau (Jawa Timur), Indonesia, 2016. C-print, 50 x 60 cm. Photo credit: © Armin Linke

Armin Linke. Kawah Ijen. Biau (Jawa Timur), Indonesia, 2016. C-print,
50 x 60 cm. Photo credit: © Armin Linke

The exhibition presents some of Junghuhn’s scientific and artistic works, namely books, lithographs and maps, in conjunction with works of art by the photographer Bas Princen and the photographer and video artist Armin Linke. It also features two sculptures made out of volcanic stone by a stone carver in Magelang, Java, one representing the Mount Merapi, the other the so-called Chicken Church built in 1990 near Merapi. Princen and Linke, joined the expeditions to Java, together with experts such as the volcanologist Clive Oppenheimer and the literary historian and author Elisabeth Bronfen.

The exhibition is part of a research project at Future Cities Laboratory at Singapore ETH Centre in Singapore. For more information, please click here.