As we escape the site specificity of KABK for our reviews and move, adapt, and place ourselves within the context of Trixie; how can I gauge myself within these surroundings?
Where are we going?
2515 TA The Hague
Trixie is self-described as “an artist-run space located in the Stationsbuurt, neighbouring the red light district of The Hague. Led by a diverse group of young artists, Trixie is an initiative that encourages artistic production through collaboration and exchange.
With our diverse backgrounds we run a space which consists of 15 studio spaces – currently hosting 16 artists, a gallery and a workshop. Trixie runs a public programme, inviting diverse groups of artists to experiment with alternative presentation strategies and expand their practice, network and audience with the use of our space and resources.
Through Trixie, we aim for a sustainable working structure and public programme, which is a valuable asset for its members, their professional development as well as the cultural landscape of The Hague and beyond.”
In 2007, Stationsbuurt was dubbed “Vogelaarwijk”, one of the 40 problem neighborhoods in the Netherlands. In a survey churned out by the Minister for Housing, Communities and Integration, residents claimed to “experience the neighborhood as unsafe, messy and dilapidated. According to the residents, there were too many neglected buildings, too few good shops, nuisance caused by prostitution and drugs , traffic nuisance and too many houses that were too small. In the vicinity of Hollands Spoor station, crime rates are high and drug nuisance was serious, especially in the vicinity of Stationsweg, Wagenstraat and Huijgenspark. Since 2003, there is permanent camera surveillance on Stationsplein, Stationsweg and Wagenstraat. In 2006 these streets were designated as a 'security risk area', allowing the police to carry out preventive searches.”
In conversation with some of the occupants of Trixie, I was told they were allocated this specific space in this location by the government as a means to gentrify the neighborhood. Yet there seems to be resistance from the residents of the neighborhood, who were deemed unable to understand what the artists were doing here.
This is the difficulty that seems to arise when, rather than enabling communities to uplift themselves, persons/organizations are strategically and visibly placed to make the neighborhood look better.
As we arrive, and begin to make our way through this place, how do we begin to nurture symbiotic relations?
Are we giving as much as we take?
How much is a space to move through worth?
Do the names we generate surrounding ourselves and our immediate environment dictate the way we navigate this place?
Correspondingly, the word “schelde” of Scheldestraat translates to “scolded” or “cursed”.
Trixie was named through a random name generator. While it can simply be a shortened version of a girl’s name, in slang a Trixie person is a derogatory term used to refer to a young, urban, white woman at the beginnings of her career : who, to the locals, may function as a personification of gentrification.
In this sense, its name writes a truthful description of its occupation, but perhaps this also teases into existence the tension between the foreign occupants of this place (new residents) and the natives to the area.
Therefore, I’d like to make a name generating machine :: that we might constantly be able to name and rename this space in relation to how we are navigating through this place at present. That names are a language of meaning and carry a weight behind them. That we might play into these self-fulfilling prophecies.
“…The only conceivable form of being is thus that of the cultural cannibal, who devours and transforms the surrounding world ... The self and the other thus enter into an inseparable alliance. As a visible external boundary of cognitive awareness, the human body must relinquish its illusionary autonomy and intermingle in order to be able to survive ... From such a perspective, the pure, the unmixed, the original can only arise as a utopian phantasm. Culture, language, and art are always already mixed, are hybrid evocations of an origin that has never existed. If it is true, however, that the examination of the other inevitably implies an incorporation thereof, then the opposition of self/other, inside/outside, I/you dissolves at the very moment that it comes into being.”
If we are eating each other we are simultaneously feeding each other.