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Staircase

1974 Amsterdam, Netherlands
Coauthor: Theo Botschuijver

Production: Eventstructure Research Group, Amsterdam

For Staircase the artists created a stop-motion sequence of photographs of people walking up and down the iconic central staircase in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. Given that this staircase is architecturally divided into two sections, the upper section was photographed from the front, while the lower section was photographed from above.

This scene was then virtually reconstructed by projecting these image sequences, 1:1 scale, onto two contiguous projection screens, one hanging vertically on a wall and the other lying horizontally on the floor. Using two synchronized slide projections, one could see visitors walking up and down these stairs, passing from one projection plane to the other, and from one specific point of view these two planes of imagery appeared to be optically aligned.

In this way Staircase used architectonic slide projection to create a full-scale re-presentation of the Stedelijk Museum’s landmark staircase as the public used it. While following in traditions of tromp l’oeil, anamorphoses and cinematic illusionism, the work also prefigured the then nascent techniques of virtual reality, telepresence and projection mapping.

Exhibition Record

1973/9/7 - 9/30:  Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands