Double Centre, installation view Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven. Photo: Peter Cox
Over the past five years Charles van Otterdijk has been working on Double Centre, a project based on the discovery of two specific locations on the German-Polish border. Double Centre addresses the culture of surveillance and the way in which information is controlled and mediated – by the artist himself and, by inference, to society at large.
Through photographs, texts and objects Van Otterdijk explains how he came across two secret sites and proceeded to document as well as re-creating the objects he discovered in the buildings. These objects include wooden crafted contraptions, whose function is as unclear as the authenticity of the places in which they were supposedly found. Clouded in mystery, these locations are reminiscent of military compounds or even detention centres, their aesthetics and form steeped in authority and interrogation. They allude to an unknown history as well as to the legacy and continuing practice of governments throughout the world surveying and questioning individuals in hidden places.