Paradigm FestivalAugust 13 & 14

Conversation with Anna-Lucia Rijff

Art and installations have always been an integral part of the Paradigm experience. Lets take a little peek at what that means for one of our deco-heads: Anna-Lucia Rijff. She opens up about her inspirations, her collaboration with other artists and her appreciation for M.C. Escher. Read all about it here:

This isnt the first time youve created something extraordinary for Paradigm.

That’s correct. This adventure started a few years ago in 2017. That’s when the Container Club was installed. John Oosting asked me if I wanted to help him transform the bare-boned Club into a work of art! That’s when he said to me: ‘You and Paradigm would be a great fit.’ We started working on the Club which didn’t have a proper roof, no deco and there wasn’t even a floor in there. 

Another thing I did was co-create the Bee at the main stage together with Trudy. And a triangular artwork in the Romney Loods. I often come across pieces I’ve made on the terrain that I totally forgot about as well, which is always a pleasant surprise.

Youre going to be responsible for the installation in the Romney Loods this year. Can you tell us what you’re setting up?

Noorderzon approached me to create an art installation for their festival three years ago. This was right before COVID happened, so this project was delayed for two years. I was finally able to build it last year in the EMG, because COVID was still restrictive. The EMG is an enclosed space, compared to the large open area of the Noorderzon. This gave me inspiration to work with. The idea I had was to create a 3D etching inspired by the 2D work of M.C. Escher. I was looking to mimic the trippy feeling when you look at Eschers work, but in a physical way. After it was used for Noorderzon and the idea came to me that I could repurpose the whole thing as a stage for Paradigm.

How do you plan to physically manifest the Escher effect without people walking through the construction to experience this?

It’s not an easy thing to do this at Paradigm because of the setting and the large amount of people. However, I think we figured out a way to create this effect nonetheless. Strobert set up a light plan for the construction, which is made up of mirrors and radiant foil strung across acrylic glass. If you install the proper lighting between these elements, you effectively create an infinity effect. The resulting image starts to move as well because the radiant foil is a little flexible and able to move a little, creating a very trippy effect. This also means that you see something new from different perspectives when looking at it! Combine this with the fact that the DJ is square in the middle of it all, which is something I absolutely wanted to make happen. That way, we can take it up a notch by creating a direct synergy between the deco and the music! 

And this project ended up being a collaboration between different people to create something extraordinary?

Exactly. I absolutely love this joint venture. This is the first time I’ve worked together in this fashion. For example, we’ve spent weeks brainstorming the best way to light the whole thing. A nice little detail is that everything regarding this art piece is rectangular, including the lights themselves! The biggest challenge we encountered was to create a level construction on a slightly slanted floor. 

What do you hope that people experience when laying eyes on your work?

That’s a good question. You have to understand that the idea to express my art this way came to me during the last Paradigm Festival. I got really into Speedy J’s set at the time and became completely entranced, so much so that I could almost visualize the cacophony of sounds that day. This idea took root and I expanded upon it that same night at the Campsite, thinking what it would look like if I created an artwork that would let people experience something similar. Put this together with my love for Escher and the result will be available for all to see in the Romney Loods this weekend. I’m really curious to hear how others experience it and if it’s similar to that singular feeling I had years ago.

Anything you want to add?

Paradigm and its people are really important to me. This place has given me so much. Whenever Paul approached me with an idea, I always got full creative freedom to do so. This has had an incredibly positive influence on my development as an artist. I picked up a lot of construction skills and experience by creating these artworks. The trial and error part was especially valuable. If I made a mistake, Lennart was always there to help straighten it out and giving me the opportunity to learn from it. The help and trust from Lennard and everyone else in turn provided me with inspirations and perspectives that I hadn’t considered before, which is incredibly fun and valuable.