Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven

A new Forever Summer growing season has begun.

After two editions in 2020 and 2021, Forever Summer is back at the Van Abbemuseum. Between the 12th and 14th of April 2024, around 30 households in Eindhoven picked up seeds of 8 different tomato varieties with fascinating names as Helsing Junction Blue, Beryl Dwarf Beauty, Summer of Love or Moneymaker. Over the coming months, these home growers will form a tomato community and explore the interaction between pigment and climate by growing different coloured tomatoes. Through a logbook given to each member of the tomato community, the main events during the summer, concerning our climate zone, will be recorded. Will sunshine-hour records be broken again this summer? Will we face rainy, dry, balanced or extremely stormy weather? What role does the course of the summer play in the growth of these yellow, blue, green, red and multicolor tomatoes?

Collectively we will take a look at the time- and place-less supermarket landscape, where new tomatoes can be found in the shelves every day and seasonality seems to be a matter of the past.

It was Forever Summer

Can a tomato be preserved as an art object in the museum’s collection?’

Underlying the development of the spatial installation in the Eye is the climatic connection between the greenhouse and the museum depot. 18° C and a humidity of 55% connects these different worlds. We developed a spatial installation as an ecosystem; a series of hybrid pieces of furniture that show characteristics of transport boxes of air-conditioned artworks, which are monitored during transport for temperature, humidity and vibrations.

We activated the installation through weekly maintenance, some events with the tomato community and a series of performative acts that resulted. Currently, the Weedkeeper is working on the elaboration of a video work.

Van Abbemuseum

Forever Summer update

Forever Summer is currently in full bloom!

Over the past year, we have been working on the development of a new process-based work, working with a local tomato community to provide about thirty different varieties of tomatoes. The work has become an ecosystemic installation that circles around the question of what happens when you introduce the tomato into the realm of a museum.

Anyone who has ever grown tomatoes knows that a successful harvest and a good yield go hand in hand with a good summer. Despite the seasons, it seems that the supermarket always provides us with a “good summer. Fresh produce is offered year-round because we can control the atmosphere. A permanent summer is formed by the ratio of oxygen, nitrogen and CO2, temperature and preservatives such as E200 and E299. This system brings summer into our households all year round.

The Van Abbemuseum and the depot are also climate-controlled spaces. 18°C and a humidity of about 60% is what is needed to present and conserve art. A temperature and humidity comparable to greenhouses for growing tomatoes. What happens when the tomato becomes part of the museum’s collection?

Stadsakker Eindhoven

Tomato tasting

On Saturday, August 29, the kick-off of Forever Summer took place. Over 50 home growers gathered at Eindhoven’s Stadsakker for a tasting of over 80 different varieties of tomatoes. Tomato guru and chef Gabriela Zampfir cooked fantastic bites with tomatoes; gazpacho, Caprese salad with salsa verde made from weeds from the field and a delicious bruschetta. There was music and lots of atmosphere. We had a wonderful afternoon.

Many thanks to: Hilde van der Heijden for the organization, Willem Jan Renders for the hospitality at the Stadsakker Garden, the volunteers and everyone who helped with the growing of tomatoes.


Forever Summer starts

In early 2019, the Onkruidenier was approached by the Van Abbemuseum with the request to develop a new work for the Eye; the beautiful patio in the museum overlooking the river Dommel. And now we can share with you the wonderful news that until the end of September 2021 the Onkruidenier can work with the most eaten vegetable in the world, the tomato.

Nowadays, it is impossible to imagine our kitchen without the tomato. But what do we actually know about this popular vegetable that has its origins in the Andes, and is now present year-round in the supermarket? A plant that has even escaped from the supermarket and is part of our public space. De Onkruidenier investigates how the tomato developed from its original habitat into a crop that does well in the greenhouses of the Westland, but also in vegetable gardens and on the balcony. And what about the tomato in Eindhoven?

Forever Summer has been made possible by the Mondriaan Fund