Staphorst Ammunition Depot, Overijssel

Mishka Henner British

Not on view

In his "Dutch Landscapes" series, Henner selects and reproduces images of the Netherlands found on Google Earth. The multicolored shapes punctuating these landscapes were created not by the artist but at the behest of the Dutch government. When Google Earth was introduced in 2005, satellite imagery of the entire planet became freely accessible to anyone with an Internet connection. This sudden visibility created concerns among many governments, who required Google—or its image suppliers—to obscure the details of sites deemed vital to national security. While most nations employed standard techniques, such as blurring, pixilation, or digital cloning, the Dutch chose to conceal hundreds of sites—including royal palaces, army barracks, and fuel depots—with bold, multicolored polygons. “There is of course an absurdity to these censored images,” Henner has written, “since their overt, bold and graphic nature only draws attention to the very sites that are meant to be hidden. Yet this contradiction seems perfectly apt for the absurd fear of terror that has come to dominate the cultural landscape of the last decade.”

Staphorst Ammunition Depot, Overijssel, Mishka Henner (British, born 1976), Inkjet print

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.