Arne Hendriks: The Incredible Shrinking Man

The Orangerie, 19 May – 14 July 2013
Opening May 19

In the Orangerie Arne Hendriks works in our open park studio on their project The Incredible Shrinking Man. It is an on-going speculative research project into the possibility of creating a human ideally more suited for our earth.

Currently, we become increasingly taller, as a result we need more energy, food, water and space. What happens if we use our knowledge to shrink the human to 50 centimeters so he only needs 5% of the food he currently needs? Although on a global scale humans continue to grow, there is proof that it is possible to be a lot smaller. During their studio period with Zone2Source, Arne Hendriks explores which specific factors from the habitats of, for example, the Mbuto in the Ituri rainforest in Congo, who are on average 1.35 cm, and can actually stop their growth, to discover if we can reproduce this to  alter our own seemingly uncontrollable growth. Audiences are being invited by means of human images in clay to assist in imagining what this smaller person of the future might look like. The Amstelpark is very suitable as a location for exploring micro agriculture and livestock breeding: through several research installations the relation between human measure and consumption will be mapped out. During the exhibition a workshop and lecture will be organized in which the audience participates in the experiment and the debate around it.

Together with scientists, designers and specialists in various sectors, Arne Hendriks (b. 1972, The Netherlands) explores since 2010 the possibilities to decrease a human being, The growth ideal in all facets of life is so deeply buried in our consciousness that alternatives are often not discussed much less thought. The Incredible Shrinking Man takes shape in the form of texts, lectures, workshops and in public situations in which the research is presented and continued within the specific context of the exhibition. There already is a fish nursery, a sunflower table, a chicken farm on a home garden balcony, to reflect on the consequences of a smaller human being (

The open park studio is an unique initiative by Zone2Source in which artists occupy the Orangerie to develop artistic projects and interact with park visitors.

Archive, Park Studio, Past projects