Charles van Otterdijk Double Centre

The book Double Centre presents a dossier of images, an index, and a short text. It appears like a report, a form of documentation, or some sort of archive revealing two sites discovered by the artist Charles van Otterdijk in the east of Germany. The photographs show stark rooms with objects that appear typical - unnervingly similar to everyday objects: desks, chairs, racks; yet, each object is unusual, distorted and unfamiliar, making it unclear what the function of the objects, or the sites they are in, might be. This peculiarity is further reinforced, by the apparent duplication of objects across the two sites. Objects are repeated, and modified, their differences accentuating their similarity.

The index list includes: isolation unit, cellar, bed, desk with spy hole, rack, birdcage, telescope, document incinerator, loudspeakers, desktop with sunken opening to a tank, maybe a panic room, reinforcing the sense of possible, or probable (institutional) illegality. The exterior of the sites reveals a dark, brooding landscape of dense forest, a secret place or no-man's-land that suggests the sites might have been rendition centres - those sovereign sites of exception used by democratic states in their effort to eliminate, contain, or otherwise manufacture terror. Exacerbated by these layers of doubling and suggestion, Double Centre feels similarly out of sight - the apparent objectivity of image and text, belying an eerie suspicion about the truth of the document, and narrative. 

Double Centre is an independent publication that accompanies two exhibitions; the first at Stroom Den Haag (7 September - 17 November 2013); more info click here; the second one in 2014 at the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven.

Co-published by Book Works, Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven and Stroom Den Haag as part of Book Works Co-Series, No.5
Printed by: Lecturis, Eindhoven
Edition: 1,000 copies
Number of pages: 80
Size: 230 x 170 mm

Sunday 20 October 2013, 13 hrs
Book launch by Willem Post
Location: Stroom Den Haag, Hogewal 1-9, The Hague
More information: click here

Thanks to:
The publication is generously funded by the Mondriaan Fund, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven and Stroom Den Haag.
Book Works is funded by Arts Council England.

Please send an email with book title, number of desired copies and your name and address information to:

Cover 'Double Centre Charles van Otterdijk'
photo: © Charles van Otterdijk