This video takes the blueprints of the destroyed original Tuchthuis (House of Corrections) of Haarlem and re-animates them accurately in design using an architectural animation software, while adapting them by using the images of tapestry textures as their walls. Spliced into this recreation of the 17th century are perspectives from the present Dutch incarceration system from those who have been living and working on the inside. The primary actors and consultants in the film are part of the non-governmental organization Young in Prison as well as one maximum security prison guard. During a two-day workshop and film shoot, the consultants from Young in Prison, (who were once incarcerated teenagers) and I recreated scenes from archive of the first prison uprising and explored the story from their present perspective. The voice of the anonymous security guard from the maximum security prison, Vught, was recorded during an informal interview.
This video started with the analysis and translation of the early North Holland criminal archives from the seventeenth century into a fiction while reading texts on the seventeenth century in Europe, the history of prisons and punishment, the Netherlands and the current penitentiary systems in the United States.
Juliacks and co-producer Suzanne Sanders began researching the archive through the present by conversing and interviewing local people, the Young in Prison non-governmental organization and their youth lab consultants, an anonymous prison guard at the Dutch Vucht penitentiary institution, conversations with local Haarlem historians and organizations-Wim Cerutti, The Rosecrucians, the Haarlem Historical Society, archivists at the North Holland Archives – Hans van Felius and Nico Vriend, and leading experts in the field–Prof dr. Pieter Spierenburg.
This work was commissioned by Haarlemselente, a contemporary art festival in Haarlem in the Netherlands. It was exhibited in a 16th century building, De Waag, home to the artist’s association that has been active for the past 187 years.
All the while, Juliacks made a series of tapestries at the Textile Museum in Tillburg. The making of this series investigated the materials and modern application of an industry that used to dominate the 17th century Prison industrial complex, and the ideas propagated by Dirk Volkertszoon Coornhert in his seminal work Boeventucht in the 1580s, which has been an influential source during the emergence of a system of criminal justice in the early years of the Dutch Republic around 1600. Her work reflects the paradox of the beautiful woven materials combined with a complicated history of institutional punishment that began in the Netherlands in 1598.