As rural regions have experienced an exodus of population and businesses over the last decades, the cultural gap between small towns and big cities has grown. The sculptural installations of Jonathan van Doornum center around the distinctive architectural details and manners of villages and rural communities. Stylistic elements seen in and around churches, public squares, commercial and private buildings give form to the cultural self-identity of these rural communities.
The functionality and pragmatism, so embedded in Dutch Calvinism, is also embedded in the architectural details one finds around this regions of the country, while they reflect the cultural identity of these communities. By carefully appropriating regional architectural references into sculptural installations, Van Doornum’s work can be seen as an articulation of a society in dissolution. Instead of opposing cultural differences (a strategy so prevalent in the current Dutch political debate), the sculptural installations are constructed with a sensitive eye to cultural uniqueness while formally questioning and challenging the representation of a national identity.