Entrepot in Amsterdam / by Martin Toft

Was recommend by a friend in Utrecht to eat at Entrepot, a restaurant at Entrepotdok in Amsterdam. Not only was the food excellent but the name and its location excited me a great deal as the concept of Entrepôt is essentially what my work about the island of Jersey is exploring . These row of warehouses, now converted to apartments were set up in 1827 to stimulate the transit trade in Amsterdam and until 1895 goods could be stored temporarily without having to pay import duties. They only had to pay duty when the goods were put on the market. 

The concept of a warehouse is a good allegory for Jersey's success as a trading post. In fact, a previous Treasury Minister of Jersey often referred to the island exactly as a 'warehouse' and its semi-detached status between Europe (+ the rest of the world) and UK has directly benefited the island’s economy and indirectly shaped its identity and character. Constitutional loopholes allowing goods and services to be administered in Jersey, whatever industries were dominating in the past eg. knitting, cider, cod-fish and now finance have made the island a wealthy nation comparable to its size and population.

Both my long term projects THE SEAFLOWER VENTURE and MASTERPLAN explore Jersey’s original wealth acquired through its historical maritime trade and contemporary prosperity as an International Finance Centre with capital inflows derived across multiple jurisdictions and financial markets. They proposes to re-address parts of the legacy upon which the islands’s economic growth and development in the past, present and future has been told.

New work from Masterplan will be unveiled among work from 34 international artists as part of TAXED TO THE MAX at NoorderlichtInternational Photography Festival officially opening on Saturday 5 Oct at 17:00 in Groningen. See you there!