April 28, 2011 - Straat van Sculpturen - The Third Sculpture, Bijlmer Art International 2012
April 28, 2011

The Third Sculpture, Bijlmer Art International 2012

The Bijlmermeer, circa 1968.

Straat van Sculpturen
Bijlmer Art International 2012
12 May–25 July 2012

Bijlmermeer, Amsterdam Zuid-Oost


Straat van Sculpturen is a five-part apparition that manifests itself within the public realm of the Bijlmermeer, an area in the Southeast of the Amsterdam. As one of the purest forms of modern utopia/distopia, the Bijlmer is now one of Europe’s largest urban renewal planning. The foundation critically examines these progressions by appointing another curator for each edition who will, together with other cultural practitioners, generate an expository vision that will, over the course of 10 to 15 years, produce an artistic heritage, which reflects the history and redevelopment of the area.

The first edition entitled Open Source Amsterdam, took place in 2009 and commissioned works from a.o. Thomas Hirschhorn (The Bijlmer Spinoza-Festival), Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla (U.N.B.Q.Q), Pascale Marthine Tayou (Les pisseurs d’Amsterdam), Jennifer Tee (Totem Today) and Michael Beutler (Big Satellite, Small Milky Way) a.o.

Krist Gruijthuijsen (NL) has been appointed as curator for the second edition, which will take place in the spring-summer of 2012.

Projects of urban renewal often result in a process of gentrification, implying the confrontation between spatial planning with her ‘ideal’ inhabitants and the existing (organic) infrastructure that originated from an earlier—unsuccessful—attempt at spatial planning. Within the Bijlmermeer, the existing structure is often indicated as an informal melting pot of numerous cultures and religions that organically introduced ‘new’ rules within the dominant architecture; a mentality that has resulted in a peculiar ‘street scene’ with a performative quality.

Are artistic expressions relevant, when (institutionally) imposed upon a social environment and to what extent does a neighborhood actually need to be ‘artistically enlightened’ and at what point does this artistic attempt dissolve within a social environment, thus shifting its context?

The starting point for the second edition is based on the complex practices of artists Ben Kinmont (Vermont, USA, 1963) and Lygia Clark (Belo Horizonte, Brasil, October 23 1920–Rio de Janeiro, April 25 1988), both of whose works have dissolved in their social environment. Their artistic positions touch upon the essence of this proposal in which notions of transience and performativity coincide with thoughts around ‘sculpturality’ and ‘heritage’, questioning the paradoxical element of its interaction.

What significance does an institutional and subsidized structure, such as that of a large-scale art manifestation, have on a problematic residential area of other urgent needs and how does this develop into an interesting heritage that makes connections between the collective (memory, cohesiveness) and the autonomous? To come to such a result, the existing codes within the area have to be managed in order to reintroduce and reformulate them through a transformation, thus rekindling curiosity.

As Thomas Hirschhorn‘s ‘The Bijlmer Spinoza-Festival’ demonstrated, the local inhabitants embrace a “simple” social proposition in which a festival-like structure connects with intellectualism in a very simple manner. The second edition of the Bijlmer Art International will build upon these ideas, but will primarily concentrate on the (functional) sculpturality of these performative propositions. Several permanent architectural elements such as a pavilion and a restaurant will be introduced as primary base from which further projects will be developed. These constructions will function as sculptures in themselves while also maintaining a social function.

A survey of the work of Bik van der Pol will connect the various locations throughout the area, in which new commissions and/or reconfigurations are realized by Charles Atlas, Stefaan Dheedene, Beatrice Gibson, Liam Gillick, Ernst van der Hoeven, KesselsKramer, Roosje Klap, Ben Kinmont, Germaine Kruip, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Runo Lagomarsino, Gabriel Lester, Nils Norman, Falke Pisano/Luca Frei, Alexandre Singh, Hito Steyerl and Carey Young.

To gradually “insert” The Third Sculpture within the context of the Bijlmer, several events are organized in 2011 such as a re-installment of Allora & Calzadilla‘s work from the previous edition and an international conference in September with (among others) Thomas Hirschhorn, Lars Bang Larsen, Falke Pisano & Luca Frei, Ben Kinmont, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Rem Koolhaas.

For further information, please contact:

Straat van Sculpturen Foundation
Kruitberg 1005A, 1104 CA
Amsterdam Zuidoost, Netherlands

Straat van Sculpturen
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