How do you work session with Rick van der Linden
I meet up with cartographer Rick van der Linden and his partner in crime, Joost on Charles Bridge.
We (Tessel and I) witness Rick cutting out the famous golden street from a shiny Praha tourist postcard. They have a whole collection of well-known Prague buildings mounted on little sticks. These cut-outs are then used to relocate the depicted buildings all over town, by photographing the cut-out superimposed over real Prague scenes and monuments that are equally emblematic. And so a church on one side of the Vltava river suddenly appears next to a church on the opposite bank.
Cut out + scenery > blend = new reality.
These half-real, half-‘fake’ images reflect the ‘half-fakeness’ of Prague’s city centre, the non-authenticity. The layers of paint and fake Czech souvenirs, erroneously renovated buildings etc. All created for the tourist hordes; basically a stage set or decor.
Today the passersby couldn’t work out what Rick and Joost were doing. A lot of people stopped next to where the camera was positioned and started to take photos from the same vantage point. As if Joost’s position made them think: ‘Wow, this really is a good spot to take a picture…’
Rick and Joost sat next to the last vendor on the bridge, who was almost invisible behind his souvenirs; a wooden display board with pictures and paintings of – you guessed it – views of Prague. For passersby, Rick and Joost were probably just another pair of semi-artistic types. With one important difference however: they were still in the process of creating. Creating exactly the same kind of images that the man next to them was selling, but (even) more manipulated.
Rick and Joost made print-outs of these DIY layered-reality images and asked people if they recognized the location in the photo.