double loudspeaker hh liggend (detail) ch van otterdijk

Charles van Otterdijk


When citizens look into the lens of a surveillance camera they see nothing. Charles Otterdijk gives us a glimpse into the invisible world that monitors us. With his installation Double Centre, based on his discovery of two mysterious locations in former East Germany, he evokes Kafkaesque associations. Using sparse documentation, his memories and photos he took, he reconstructs the mysterious place in an attempt to get a grip on its possible significance.
The work is reminiscent of bunkers, shelters and command centers, with objects that are reproductions of things van Otterdijk found there, but distorted and alienating. The thought of secret detention centers imposes itself, places countries use to neutralize suspected terrorists. A process that takes place in a no man’s land, out of sight of the media and judicial and parliamentary scrutiny. Van Otterdijk takes the visitor into a similar twilight zone and explores the boundary between lawful and unlawful. What is actually still permissible in defending our democracy?