De Antillendag /The Antilles Day
Exhibitions on colonial history are always under scrutiny. Who is the viewer, whose voice is being
heard, and which perspective is leading? With Antilles Day I reflect on the preparations for
the opening of the new Antilles Hall in the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam in 1948. The work Antilles
Day shows the process, with its ideas, opinions, and sometimes frustrations that are usually unseen
by the public, during which the different perspectives on the colonies, the objects on display, and
personal artistic visions come together. The main focus is on the dialogues between the exhibition
makers, an ambitious set painter, and a critical journalist and the visual voice of the exhibited objects and subjects.
The colonized body in the exhibition is of a life-size doll. Frozen she is surrounded by objects that objectify
her as part of the colonial inventory.
In this work, designed as a visual newspaper, Blokland zooms in on the representation of colonial
histories in the Netherlands , colonial propaganda the unheard voices and on the complex relationships between the museum, the contractors, and the public.