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`I am looking for space and fortune.`
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I am looking for space and fortune.

 
`I am looking for space and fortune.`, Wapke Feenstra (ENG)
Parts of a letter to Jeanne van Heeswijk, initiator of Hotel New York PS1. Fragments of this letter are published in the pressrelease. 1999

In my blood there are two types of immigrants to America. On the poor side of the family, everything they owned could fit into one suitcase. And the wish to become rich was the most important motivation. The farmers in my family, on the other hand, were seeking space. And were could you buy space enough to become a big cattle farmer when the rest of your brothers had already bought the Frisian land? Yes, America! This is how you end up in Wisconsin or Texas, milking an American variety of the Frisian pedigree cow. (…)
I am also looking for space and fortune, but mental once. Where you find this, there is art. And searching for it is already an art in itself, I tell myself encouraging. I do not need to go to America to find space and fortune, so I am mainly searching in Europe.
But now you offer me Hotel New York’s hotel room at PS1. I stay there as one of the people you work with. And as such I also present myself publicly. I am your last guest before closing. An era and a space will end. What actually is the space you are offering me? What does it mean that I - as an artist – get hotel-comfort and the physical conditions normally needed to present my work are hardly taken care of? Do I represent a network? Will the visitor string me as a creative bead into a conceptual necklace? Can I look a gift horse in the mouth? I think so. I will write a text or make a work on the spot in which I will describe the offered space. This essay will not be finished or presented in the Hotel New York PS1 room to the public, but given to you afterwards. And you will also be allowed to look this gift horse in the mouth. My presentation to the PS1 public will mainly focus on my poor emigrated relatives. I will bring a suitcase filled with multiples and samples and, as a real salesman, I will install my goods on the bed and try to sell it all.
As said: I am looking for space and fortune. But the space I am looking for I obviously never get a grip on; I am right in the middle of it. I am not a practical farmer who wants to milk and pasture and can buy overseas space. And fortune is also something difficult to measure if you do not do it for the money. (…)
But I will gladly spend the money - after selling out my suitcase - by inviting you for dinner. So we can mutually load our mental batteries before flying back and share the end of this overseas space.