Authors: Pilar Mata Dupont and Erika Roux
Pilar Mata Dupont and Erika Roux share an interest in the cinematic tropes of the Western genre, within which they have found a playful and relevant language to reflect on different political perspectives and forms of relating to territory, nature, and community. Scenes From The Polder Western is part of a long-term project situated in the Netherlands, a country where the two artists have lived for many years. This speculative screenplay, an experiment in narrative and absurdism, allowed them to research and investigate personal concerns arising from living in an environmentally vulnerable country facing complex issues, such as climate change and its subsequent (mis)management.
In fostering a transdisciplinary approach to their site and text-driven research, they additionally met and interviewed multiple people working with and by the water in the Netherlands — professionals ranging from sea-level researchers, millers, hydraulic engineers, artists, and farmers — and translated those explorations into the screenplay presented in this publication. In the interweaving storylines, traditional understandings of borders and forms of sentience are challenged as well as the archetypal setting for the Western film itself, resulting in a new, blurry frontier.