Spaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans, Netherlands

October 2005

This text, written by Rob de Graaf in response to the landscape of the Zaan river and its surrounding villages, was placed within a mile-long view to the horizon, on a small boat and in the confines of a typical wooden house on the Zaanse Schans, a collection of small houses dating from the sixteenth century.

Staged against the background of the Spanish occupation of the Netherlands, the piece told the story of Trijn, a baker’s wife who falls in love with a young Spanish soldier, Luis, captured by her husband, Claes Cornelisz. Rob de Graaf’s text found a modernity in its style and made connections with contemporary issues of freedom fighting and terror.

The piece began with a boat glimpsed on the horizon and fragments of the story presented on video screens within the Zaanse Museum; as the boat approaches we realise we have to follow it and the story through the dykes and over little drawbridges to its conclusion in the intimate surroundings of the tiny Jisperhuis.