Arno & Iris designed this stained-glass window and complementary wallpaper especially for the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration office in Hoofddorp, on commission for the Dutch Central Government Real Estate Agency.
The WhatsApp text field in the window’s design contains a fragment of a lyric from a classic Dutch song by Annie M.G. Schmidt. The original song advocates a friendlier, less formal bureaucratic language. Much like the song, this piece of art alludes to the tax office’s ambiguous reputation: on the one hand, a bureaucratic and faceless juggernaut; on the other, a necessary part of a humane society.
This work typifies Arno & Iris’s oeuvre in its combination of contemporary and historical elements and materials. The window refers to the origins of the Dutch tax administration (the founding year 1805, and the “founding father” Alexander Gogel) and to modern-day information technology (Google, WhatsApp). The wallpaper is based on the artists’ own tax forms.