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“Meltdown” is one of the documented experiments of “Material Memories ” practical research on memorializing abilities of materials. Where familiar materials and unconventional ways of it`s application were used for recognizing and documenting the vacant spaces that fading from public memory and imagination.

It started from series of expeditions to the abandoned buildings that are awaiting demolition and landscapes that will exist no longer. And established explorative setups, onsite-laboratories to test the most promising materials and craftsmanship technics on a successfully matching locations. To investigate how certain material can respond to present Architectural and Cultural-historical qualities of the environment.

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Successful match with material was found in abandoned and half-destroyed Farmhouse and a family Cheese factory in Lochem. I had a unique opportunity to stay there for two weeks and recreate a 1:18 model of how the owner remembered his home onsite.  As well as to test the material 1:1.

Recreating a 1:18 Farmhouse from the memory of a Cheesemaker who lived and work there.

And melting it down by increasing a temperature in a studio.

An actual “Meltdown” happened later in June, when to tackle nitrogen emissions environmental and climate impacts the Dutch government proposed “unavoidable transition” for agriculture - a reduction in intensive farming, and  radical cut in livestock that cased a shut down of many farms. Farmers made their way to the Dutch parliament in The Hague in their tractors as part of their protests.

Chees wax


Each setup opened a discussion on a different aspects of memory. RAAAF`s Melted Vacant NL demonstrated a fragmented nature of a memory. Project Pravda the ability of personal memories to activate collective once. "Meltdown" became an investigation on liquidity of a memory, it`s an ability to deform under the influence of external factors. Cheese wax experiment proved memorializing ability of material (due to it`s unique composition and flexibility).

"Material Memories" research, as well as "Meltdown" experiment is conducted in collaboration with RAAAF

and made possible by Creative Industries Fund NL.

Concept: RAAAF & Daria Khozhai

Execution: Daria Khozhai

Photography: Jouke Bos

Year: 2022

Special thanks to Jouke Bos and Maurice Spees.

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