Andre van Bergen

The visitor who opens the entrance door to the prison cell activates a mechanism, which lifts a part of the floor. The floor is an artificial surface made out of Laminate. A leftover packet of the Laminate is tight with a rope and functions as a contra weight to lift the floor at the same moment that the visitor opens the door – this weight smashes itself on the floor with an immense echoing sound. The action made by the visitor is irreversible. Later the guard will set the mechanism back to its starting position, like preparing a mousetrap. This installation transformed itself into an interactive sound piece.

I realized how physical an emptiness of an old prison is, it exposes the traces of the horror of the past. The sound of the weight clashing on the floor reminds me the sound of the judge’s hammer hitting the table after the verdict has being said. Here the visitor who creates this sound by entrancing the cell becomes either the judge, either the accused –either the one who is being sent to jail or the one who send someone else to jail.

I was overwhelmed by the architecture of the Sinop jail’s complex and the beautiful nature around Sinop. After spending some time in the spaces of the jail, I made this work specifically for this location. I wanted to echo notions as emptiness, silence, being in exile and isolation.

It felt harsh yet ironic to install a domestic floor in a prison cell.