Artist-photographer Gerco de Ruijter (b. 1961, Vianen) has been exploring the landscape since the mid-1980s, picturing the world from unusual perspectives by attaching his camera to kites, balloons and fishing rods. In De Ruijter’s mysterious and almost abstract landscapes, the human scale competes with nature, and familiarity goes hand in hand with alienation. His photography gives the traditional image of the landscape a new dimension. Since 2012 De Ruijter has also been using satellite images from Google Earth in his work. This has resulted in the films CROPS (2012) and Playground (2014), and in his latest photographic series and film Grid Corrections (2017-2019).
Grid Corrections features satellite images from the United States. Towards the end of the eighteenth century the American government decided to systematically divide the colonised land into squares measuring exactly a mile by a mile. This Public Land Survey System, also known as the Jefferson Grid, evolved into a land registry system without parallel. Anyone who travels around the United States today will still find the perfectly straight roads to which it gave rise. Since the earth is a sphere, the geometric grid – actually intended for a flat surface – had to be corrected every 24 miles. Gerco de Ruijter used Google Earth to locate thousands of these corrections, whether snowed under or dried out, in cities or in deserts. The dynamic series creates a network in which form and image enter into a dialogue. In the exhibition the line from east to west runs across the wall like a horizon.
A book entitled Grid Corrections, designed by Irma Boom, with a text by Peter Delpeut, has been published with support from the Mondrian Fund to coincide with the exhibition (nai010 publishing, €49,95).