The artwork ‘Tijdkijkers’ is situated on the northern edge of the city of Leeuwarden, where people once looked out from the ramparts across the countryside. The artwork has been placed on a new building on the site where a bastion once stood as part of the city’s ramparts. The artwork consists of large devices that are reminiscent both of the cannons that were placed in ancient times along the edge of the bastion to defend the city as well as the panoramic telescopes that are often placed in touristic outlooks to view the surroundings. However, when you peer through them expecting to get a better view of present Leeuwarden, you get a big surprise. You don’t see present Leeuwarden but instead you see images of the city as it was long ago. You see ancient, black and white films of the city, its streets, buildings, canals and most of all its inhabitants. Suddenly one is aware of the time that passes and how the city and its inhabitants have changed but also how they still have remained recognizable. The Time viewers are like holes in time through which the past becomes visible in the present.
The multi-media artwork ‘Time viewers’, on the old ramparts of Leeuwarden, allows viewers to look back in time and see how the city of Leeuwarden and its inhabitants looked long ago.