first exhibtion DOWN TO EARTH now open

Drought in the Delta

picture: Aad Hoogendoorn

DROUGHT IN THE DELTA, open from 19 September through 1 November 2020, is the first exhibition of the 9th edition of the IABR, DOWN TO EARTH, an expanded biennale that will run through the summer of 2021.

You are of course very welcome to attend, but please note that, given the pandemic, IABR follows the guidelines of the Dutch Health Authority. This way, we can ensure that there are never too many people present at the same time and that every visit is a safe visit.
Therefore, visitors of DROUGHT IN THE DELTA have to reserve time slots in advance, which you can do by clicking here.

You can find all visitor information here

Drought in the Delta

picture: Aad Hoogendoorn

Building blocks for a new freshwater strategy

In the Dutch delta, climate change is generating completely new problems. More and more often there is too much water, but we are also – and this is really new – now confronted with drought and shortages of fresh water. Curator George Brugmans: "Climate change is a total game changer. Even the fact that the Dutch, like no other people, know how to deal with water no longer offers any certainty."

The dry summer of 2018 prompted the IABR to start an investigation into opportunities and frameworks for the large-scale storage of freshwater, both aboveground and underground.
The IABR–Atelier Drought in the Delta was set up and lead designer Marco Vermeulen and his SMV-team were commissioned to map the situation and explore possibilities for increasing the delta's water buffering capacity and the opportunities that this would create. The aim of the research was to provide building blocks for a new freshwater strategy in conjunction with other transition challenges, such as the energy transition, food production, and urbanization, which always involve increasingly intensive use of the topsoil and subsoil.
A new freshwater strategy is urgently needed, because, as Vermeulen puts it: "Climate change is forcing us to re-design the Dutch water machine back into a resilient delta."

Drought in the Delta

picture: Aad Hoogendoorn

In addition to the results of the Atelier Drought in the Delta, the curator, George Brugmans, selected four exemplary Dutch projects that explore concrete solutions that can be deployed in the Netherlands and elsewhere for retention and use of fresh water: COASTAR, Panorama Waterland, Watermosaic Groene Hart and Sponstuin.

Read more about the exhibition here

picture: Melany van Twuijver

DOWN TO EARTH is a biennale in times of pandemic – an anti-biennale. Instead of compressing a multitude of activities – concentrating them in time and place, inviting as many people as possible, from far and wide, through the same door – we will unfold the program over time. A biennale true to form is simply not possible under the current atypical circumstances.
From September 2020 until the summer of 2021, the IABR will present a series of relatively small exhibitions and other activities. We will also find safe ways to organise a limited number of events, such as work sessions and lectures.

Read the Curator Introduction to DOWN TO EARTH here

We will, of course, always follow the guidelines of the RIVM, the Dutch health authority. And this also means that we will wait as long as possible to decide when and in what form the consecutive program components will be presented. Step by step, we will find the best and safest way to exhibit projects that respond to the key question of this ninth edition of the IABR: Where can we land?

So, check our website and agenda regularly, subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on twitter and instagram

Crucially however, make sure to stay healthy and safe!