© 2017 Mari Boman All rights reserved.
Dry the River is a documentary landscape project exploring the complexity of a contested space, the Turia Gardens - referring to notions on space, representation, the truth and the everyday. The project tracks the development of a dry riverbed in Valencia, which has been turned into a park and recreation grounds. It follows the ongoing journey of local people from past to present and looks towards an uncertain future.
Using own photographs mixed with found items, texts, archival materials and postcards, a complex collection of voices emerges in the book.
4 Years. Most children in Germany spend around 4 years in the kindergarten, between the age of 2 and 6. In this series I explore the relationship between early childhood and place through a series of photographs of playgrounds and kindergartens. These photographs are accompanied by portraits of children at kindergarten age, capturing them at a moment where they seem to be themselves, rather than told to smile and look happy.
Both playgrounds and kindergartens are easily overlooked aspects of the everyday life of families. Often they are taken for granted - they are simply “there”. The project is thus also an inquiry into notions of identity and the everyday; seemingly marginal and insignificant narratives are incorporated in 4 Years, which may play a big part later in life.
In Berlin, a lot of fallow land such as post war bomb craters between old buildings have been turned into playgrounds, making these places an integral part of the everyday life of the city. In Berlin alone, there are around 1900 playgrounds. They come in varying conditions, from newly refurbished and tidy to completely run down, with some playgrounds full of cigarette butts.
Regardless of the conditions, children learn from their environment in the interactions that happen between the sandpit and the swing. They have to figure out and conform to how these places work, both on a social plane and on a physical level. Physical and psychological developments are taking place, and early childhood memories are formed. A part of the identity is thus shaped by these places.
This project brings the everyday reality of small children into focus and explores in which way places such as playgrounds and kindergartens may influence their development.