A Tale of Two Cities
The title of the work A Tale of Two Cities by Vendel & De Wolf is derived from the famous novel by Charles Dickens from 1859. The artists have given their work this name because of the similarities between the work and the book. Both are full of symbols about decline and resurrection. Another important aspect to the artists was that Dickens wrote his book during a very turbulent period in Europe. It’s that facet in particular in which the artists see a lot of analogies with our time: ‘Europe is a rich and happy continent, but it is also under pressure. It is this tension we wanted to convey.’ Two cities, which may either be merging or colliding, made of plexiglass en illuminated by thousends of LED lamps. These lamps are controled by the public. Literally a high tension job and interactive for a legitimate reason, because just as in Europe we share the responsibility for the end result.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.
Paul Vendel & Sandra de Wolf
& Karel de Boer
The Dutch artists Paul Vendel and Sandra de Wolf have been inseparable since they met during their studies in audiovisual art and photography at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. They have been working together as Vendel & De Wolf for 25 years. They create mainly site-specific work, drawing on the physical, social, cultural and historical contexts in which the work is exhibited. They refer to their work as ‘growing structures’ that reveal the beauty of existing issues.