All through September fortresses in Holland are open to the public demonstrating how defence systems were built over the last centuries. Fort Ruigenhoek allowed Moira to organize a project on location with ten artists. Every artist had to respond to both the environment and their interpretation on defence. I choose the gunpowder storage cellar. It is an underground vaulted area. In the middle are two rooms where the explosives used to be stored. Around these two rooms a narrow corridor runs. The corridor and the rooms in the centre are connected by arched openings: four in the long corridor and two in the short one. The basis of my idea was to lead the viewer through these corridors by installing heat sensors that trigger lights to go on and off. To add to the sensation of discovering and experiencing this space I wanted the walls to become alive.

I imagined how an organism can grow in a surrounding that is deprived of light by storing and emmitting its own light. This fictional life form that covered the walls of these corridors was created by painting them with fosforescent pigment. I also made the walls 'breathe' by covering the arched openings with latex duplicates of the wall and creating an air current in the closed off rooms. The afterglow that came from the fosforescent pigment gave a really strange feeling of depth and somehow it made the corridors seem wider. The viewer entered the installation by going down the steps. Down below a light could be seen coming from the corridor. Entering the corridor triggerred a heat sensor making the light go off leaving behind the afterglow which became more apparant as the eyes adjusted to the darkness.


uitzending 114, 18 september 2004