Asocialen-Private Prophesy-Detox 

In May 2012 a hut made of loam, wicker and straw was assembled by the artist and a group of assistants on an abandoned woodland campsite in Diepenheim, in the province of Overijssel. The hut was mounted on a frame of repurposed junk (discarded bicycle frames, shopping carts etc.) which remained visible through the outer layer of clay. A kidney-shaped pool dug into the earth behind the hut served as a therapeutic mud spa, social hub, and detox centre for the duration of the happening. 

The frieze adjacent to the hut’s entrance was inspired by the architectural facades common on early 20th century Dutch social housing, institutions, and schools. Like the decorative masonry typical of the Amsterdam School, it referenced the socialist ideals of welfare, labour, and progress. The hut functioned as a provisional monument and was built to disintegrate over time through exposure to the elements. 

A sign was erected on a wooden billboard in front of the hut advertising a 30 Minute Rave open to the public on May 27th. Local people and friends gathered on the site at the appointed time. The rave was an orchestrated dance ritual designed to induce an altered state of consciousness by means of controlled breathing and repetitive movements. Signs with the words PRIVATE PROPHESY – NO EXCESS were placed at the four cardinal points to mark off a “magic circle” (Johan Huizinga) around the event. On the wall of the hut next to the interior campfire, a neon lightbox containing ergot – the fungal alkaloid used in the production of lysergic acid – was installed, radiating blue light, visible at night through the open door.

ASOCIALEN-PRIVATE PROPHESY-DETOX: installation/happening, Now I Lay Me Down to Eat, curated by Theo Tegelaers, Kunstvereniging Diepenheim, Diepenheim, the Netherlands, May 26 – September 2, 2012.

Photography by: P. Oltheten, R. Noorda.