Lene Lekše

Academy of Fine Arts and Design of Ljubljana



Installation, mixed media

“‘Geenberg’ is a mountain on the Rottumeroog island in the Wadden Sea and is part of the Netherlands province of Groningen. It is located between the islands of Rottumerplaat and Borkum. With an elevation of 923.7 meters, Geenberg is the highest point in Netherlands at the moment. The name Geenberg means literally ‘No Mountain’.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geenberg_(mountain)). In 2011 Thijs Zonneveld wrote an article about the need for a mountain in the Netherlands („Die Berg Komet Er“/“The mountain is coming“). Although not intended to be a serious suggestion, it quickly gained attention for the serious responses that were being made and the feasibillity studies that were undertaken. His Mountain was never built and therefore a new mountain was created. Geenberg is a fictional mountain placed at Rotumeroog island in Netherlands. It was made around Christmas in 2016 on Google maps and Wikipedia and it was removed and marked as a hoax by editors and other users. But the mountain was not to be forgotten. Geenberg souvenir shop gives you an oppertunity to get to know the mountain and how it was created. But it also creates a memory of a place that was never there (or was it?) in the shape of a massive, commercial tourist attraction. A trap for a visitor to stop and buy a souvenir. It is a joke and a hoax specific to a Dutch culture but also provokes question on meaning of physical existence. What is real and does it even matter if it is not?