The photographs for the work “Binnenland” were made on the grounds of several Dutch psychiatric institutions. These terrains share a history that reflects society’s changing attitude towards “abnormals”, those who cannot or will not adhere to the norm. When these large, rural estates were established over a century ago the desire to keep a broad range of people away from society went hand in hand with the idealistic belief that a natural environment would benefit the psychiatric patient’s health. Over time, the expanding cities grew closer and closer until they enveloped the institutions, and simultaneously treatment plans changed to keep the patients (who are now called ‘clients’) involved in society.
Do these developments affect understanding between “normal” and “abnormal”? How do physical and mental distance relate?
The photography was made with these questions in mind, influenced by impressions when walking on these previously closed off terrains.