The Best Place
Hardenberg, Overijssel (NL)
August 2007

Wapke Feenstra explored the rural East of the Netherlands visiting places which locals had nominated as The Best Place. She marks 14 places with a text cart and takes soil samples, pictures and narratives with her.


Wapke Feenstra
Pietsie Feenstra
Antje Schiffers
Arienne Boelens
Veronique Baar
Citizens of Hardenberg
KCO Kunst en Cultuur Overijssel

In august 2007 Wapke was travelling around with a solar-powered text cart attached to her blue Opel Corsa, and set down at spots that have been identified as the best place by locals. The display signalled The Best Place and marked a temporary space for collecting stories, mappings, photographs of the view and to do a cultural soil drilling. The first metre of soil at all locations Wapke was sent was taken to mark and remind the ground of the meetings at that place at that day. Additionally for the book each spot was analysed historically, focussing on the former use and ownership of the ground.

A call for the Best Place and a journey to The Best Place is metaphorical. The Best Place does not exist, but you can still describe it and visit it. It’s a place where you like to be, where you do things, undertake things, where you make plans and look back. It isn’t always beautiful. But what is beautiful is that many people said immediately that their home, garden or farm is The Best Place. This trip did not take us to private property, because people had to be able to view all the locations – apart from the stables and the homes of the farmers – with the book in their hand. Later, it will become clear how quickly some places change and how others rest for a while in the image from 2007.
The visited places will continue to change, enchant and be left behind. That’s the culture. We took with us the soil of this culture; the first metre of soil at the locations Wapke was sent to is explored in the book. What kind of soil is it? What happened on it? Who lived and worked there?

The publication contains the results of her travelling and the local book launch was on December 1st in the city of Hardenberg. From January 2008 the book is internationally launched by Veenman Publishers, Rotterdam (ISBN/EAN: 978-90-8690-144-9)
The book contains 75% pictures of the acts and views during the quest, has an English summary and also contains images from and information on the Dutch part of “I like being a farmer and I would like to stay one”, which was included in Wapke’s project.

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