Between the Land
A research about borders
The origin of the word “fence” comes in the fourteen Century with the word fens, a short term for defense, protection.
The history of civilization is closely tied with the history of fences. It emerged from the notions of agriculture, family and property. Fences helped institutionalize the collective recognition of private property as a visual and open declaration of intention, a commitment to the land.
But were fences used to access to land or to mark the land? As the dictionary states, and on first impressions, it is a structure serving as a barrier but when is an opaque sort of wall it works as signage. We make an interpretation rather than physical contact with it; we know we should not trespass it and we know that this portion of terrain belongs to someone. It has a symbolic meaning.
A fence is not just a boundary. It doesn’t only divide but connect spaces, it’s a reminder that two spaces are standing next to each other; it directs movement and enhances the appearance of a space .
Starting from a collection of tools, used by the makers of the landscape, this book is a study about fences used in the lands and how they describe the landscape of Drenthe, a region in the north of the Netherlands.