December 11, 2014 - Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen - Siobhán Hapaska
December 11, 2014

Siobhán Hapaska

Sensory Spaces 5 – Siobhán Hapaska. Installation view. Photo: Studio Hans Wilschut, Rotterdam.

Sensory Spaces 5 – Siobhán Hapaska
until 25 January 2015

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
Museumpark 18-20
NL-3015 CX Rotterdam
The Netherlands
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–5pm

The fifth edition of the Sensory Spaces series sees Siobhán Hapaska (b. 1963, Belfast, Northern Ireland) create an installation of nine olive trees suspended horizontally. A small motor is attached to each tree, so that the trees tremble at a touch of the button. All nine trees are secured with eight bungee cords and they hang in columns in the space. The olive tree is a recurring element in Hapaska’s installations. If Hapaska had to give the work a title, it would have been Intifada: an Arabic word that literally means “shaking off,” and that is now freely translated as rebellion or resistance. She says of her work in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen: “Uprising, rebellion or resistance, this is my intention for the spirit of this installation. I don’t necessarily mean this in an obvious political sense, more a shaking off of that which limits a better future.”

Sensory Spaces is the title of a series of solo exhibitions in the Willem van der Vorm Gallery, situated in the museum’s entrance area. For each edition an artist is invited to respond to the particular characteristics of this space in a surprising way. The specific character of the gallery, a long, high space open on its two short sides, is the spatial context within which each artist is invited to develop a work. ‘The space has been designed to give visitors a choice, you can choose to stand at either end to view the work, a sort of polarized viewpoint—which is ironic since it is polarized viewpoints that produce such unfortunate circumstances to begin with—or you can choose to enter the installation. The trees are hung at a height where an average height visitor must bend or bow their heads to move freely through the room, an act of physical, not just visual, engagement.”

Hapaska studied at Goldsmiths, University of London, and first came to prominence following her solo exhibition at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts in 1995. Her installations speak to all the senses and work on both an abstract and a representational level, embracing disembodiment and detailed craftsmanship. Hapaska’s work is designed to engage us visually and activate all our other senses. Her work always leaves scope for individual interpretation and abstract reflections. This flows from her belief that things in general cannot be contained within clear boundaries, words or images. Although she has never wanted to address political questions directly, given the environment and the political situation in which she grew up, she is deeply concerned by how bad political decisions impact on people.

An essay by the curator accompanies each Sensory Spaces exhibition, also available on our website.

The Sensory Spaces series
Sensory Spaces 6 – Sara VanDerBeek, 7 February–31 May 2015 

Sensory Spaces 5 – Siobhan Hápaska, until 25 January 2015 
Sensory Spaces 4 – Liu Wei  
Sensory Spaces 3 – Elad Lassry
Sensory Spaces 2 – Sabine Hornig
Sensory Spaces 1 – Oscar Tuazon 
The Series Sensory Spaces is made possible with the generous support of AMMODO.

For more information please contact the Marketing and Communications Department:
T +31 0 10 441 9561 / pressoffice [​at​]


Siobhán Hapaska at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
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