2007- 2008 Ruffles and Fray / run by Florian Göttke (DAI) in collaboration with Jeroen Boomgaard (LAPS)

tag: Amsterdam

A collaboration of the Research Group Art in Public Space in Amsterdam (www.lkpr.nl), the Dutch Art Institute and the Sandberg Institute.
The aim of the project is to develop and produce temporary work in the Zuidas in Amsterdam to contribute diverging positions of the art and the artists to the vision of the area. As the area has the image of a slick and smooth business zone, there is urgent need to show different views, to de-gentrify, to add ruffles and fray to that seemingly smooth image.

We connect ourselves to the event Amsterdam Bright City, www.zuidas-abc.nl a one-day event on June 4, 2008. Amsterdam Bright City was initiated by the ABN Amro and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam to promote the Zuidas as an “international, multicultural centre of knowledge and business services”.

The Zuidas in Amsterdam is the main hotspot of the global marketplace of business and finance in the Netherlands. The development of the Zuidas started in the 1990s and is projected to be finished in 2030. Currently it is in a state of constant change – in between the vision expressed in the language of the promotional brochures, the emerging steel-and-glass office architecture of the banks and law firms and the daily reality of the employees. How public – or rather private – the open space in between the buildings is, still needs to be established and will be one of our working questions.

Since the beginning the Research Group Art in Public Space accompanied the development and tried to define the role of art and worked to create space for art in the area. We will draw heavily from the knowledge and experience gathered in these earlier studies, symposia and projects initiated and conducted by the Research Group.
In that way we try to avoid getting stuck in the apparent incongruities of the Zuidas – the contrast between the values and ideas expressed in the vague language of the developers and what a real city might mean – and we will try to get a step further and address the situation as it presents itself in this moment.

The project will partly take place in Amsterdam on the Zuidas, where we will be guests of the Research Group and the Sandberg Institute and partly at the Dutch Art Institute in Enschede. The project will be prepared and accompanied with lectures, visits to the area and visits to artists involved in earlier art projects.

(FG - 02/09)



4 June 2009

12.00 – 19.00

Zuidas Amsterdam

The Zuidas (literally the South Axis) will be the new centre of Amsterdam; a place for living, working, art and culture. But there’s still a long way to go; this monumental plan is very far from completion. And in the meantime, what should be on the cultural agenda of the Zuidas: entertainment for those who work there? Niche activities for miniscule subcultures? Or a giant exhibition space for blockbuster shows? The role of culture at the Zuidas has been debated for years and there is no shortage of plans. But up to now, nothing tangible has been done. Culture isn’t just about buildings – it’s about doing. Hardware doesn’t work on its own – it needs to be programmed; it needs software. This is why the Research Group Art and Public Space of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie decided to a host a day to look at the kinds of artistic projects that could bring inspiration and culture to the Zuidas.

Software is part of Cosmopolis 2025, a project conceived by Amsterdam Bright City.


Paula Albuquerque - Mountain Soundtrack for Skyscrapers - Sound Installation

The Zuidas area is developing rapidly. Its towering apartment and office blocks give a three-dimensionality to the otherwise flat Dutch landscape. With Mountain Soundtrack for Skyscrapers the urban sound environment is transformed into a mountain landscape. With recorded footage of a day in the mountains complete with twittering morning birds, the breeze in the trees and the crickets at sunset, the entire atmosphere of the Zuidas will be subtly transformed creating the experience of an entirely different place with a minimal intervention: sound – a seemingly innocuous yet a powerful means of creating mood and atmosphere. www.concrete-dok.netga

Ruben van Klaveren - Deadline/ Flatline - Video

Deadline / Flatline explores the Zuidas as a new commercial centre and economic powerhouse. Setting out a grid for enterprise, the detached office architecture incites growth and the pursuit of profit. Van Klaveren challenges this structure by tipping the decor.

Eva Schippers - The Constructed Life - A performative sculpture

Most people will be able to recall the family portrait. Complete with aunts, uncles, cousins and distant relatives who are more or less strangers yet closely related. The constructed life invites the public to take the place of one of the family members in this imaginary portrait thereby entering into a relationship with unknown people. www.evaschippers.nl

Kyoko Inatome - Zuidas Blocks - Installation

The Zuidas has much to offer in the way of architecture and facilities, but no one seems to have given much thought to children. Zuidas Blocks gives children a chance to take part in Amsterdam’s latest business centre. The installation is an economy in miniature, micro-world made out of recycled material, complete with logos and billboards. The installation questions the future influence of the youngest generation. http://kyokoinatome.com

Lucia Luptáková - Back Garden - Spatial installation

The installation is situated in a busy square in front of the World Trade Centre and World Trade Centre railway station. The area is planted with trees forming a geometric grid pattern. People cross the square in all directions, hurrying through the trees. A washing line is suspended between four trees. Hanging from the washing line are a number of sheets – huge white sheets of different lengths. They enclose a square space between the trees, a space which opens and closes repeatedly, stirred by the wind. Four trees and four corners of the flower planters, tiles, a drain in the middle, a view of the sky and the Zuidas skyline. A quiet place where time stands still and space moves. A private moment. A memory. www.lucialuptakova.nl

Izabela Oldak - Hope - Sand painting

‘Hope’ is a temporary art work that exists just for a day. It draws on the Buddhist principles used to create a mandala. A mandala is a concentric diagram with ritual and spiritual meaning, and is found in many cultures. It symbolises the cycle of nature, life and death and the harmony of the Universe. A mandala is an aid to meditation. For the Zuidas, Oldak has created a special mandala which, through its impermanence, refers to beauty and decay as part of human life. http://picasaweb.google.pl/izabela.oldak

Renaldi Zefi - Sympathy for the Symphony - Sound Performance

Sympathy for the Symphony integrates a typical feature of Amsterdam’s streets – the barrel organ - into the modern, minimalist surroundings of the Zuidas. The history and tradition of the street organ is intimately interwoven with the city, and has its roots in popular entertainment. The buildings on the Zuidas have been named after Western classical composers such as Mahler and Gershwin, and thus refer to the modern, ‘the new’. Sympathy for symphony translates the image into a book for the barrel organ, making the Zuidas audible.

Yen Yitzu - Tree Hole - Installation/ performance

Everyone seems to have a secret. And every culture has its own way of dealing with them. In India, secrets are ritually spoken into a hole in a tree trunk, afterwards plugging the hole with mud to keep the secret safely contained inside the tree. Inspired by this tradition, Tree Hole gives people at the Zuidas a chance to unburden themselves and tell their secret.

 ICU2 - Zuid As: Building Urbanity - Film programme

A city’s dreams and ambitions are inseparably connected with the history of Modernism and the axioms of progress. Zuid As: Building Urbanity presents a selection of films from different eras that reflect on imaginings of urban space, interspersed with live footage of the Zuidas. Amsterdam’s second centre is set alongside other dreams, and its perspective changes. http://icu2events.blogspot.com

Sachi Miyachi - Ballad of Caution - Installation

The objective of every city is to become an efficient, well-run metropolis. In this context, Ballad of Caution reveals how visions of an efficient, wonderful city are also shaped by ideas of a clean city. Perhaps the desire to work in a smart office, in a building with excellent security and cleaning services holds general appeal. Corporate cleaning firms have improved their equipment, tailoring technology to meet the requirements of city offices. They provide the clean, pristine backdrop for polished urban living, far removed from the fears of dirt and germs associated with the city. Ballad of Caution is a monumental homage to the cleaner as a key figure behind the scenes of urban life. The large scale installation appropriates the volume of the building, its featherweight construction underlining the fragility of the structure.

Bodyweather Amsterdam - Something Here That Is Not There - Invisible interventions of high velocity 

The performances of Something There That Is Not Here are inevitably built into the world of every day life. Something There That Is Not creates a place where spectators are effortlessly drawn into the scheme of hearing themselves thinking and seeing. Thus the daily world of cacophony and spectacle that blocks out the voice of one’s own thought is undermined. Dancers: Joa Hug, Tashi Iwaoka, Maria Mavridou, Marta Sponzili, Ema Nik Thomas, Milou Velig; Concept: Katarina Bakatsaki http://bodyweatheramsterdam.blogspot.com

Virtual Museum Zuidas - Exhibition 

Rapidly becoming a new commercial centre, the Zuidas is also becoming an artistic hot-spot. The Zuidas Virtual Museum Foundation (ZVM) has been working to promote a vibrant, high-quality, inspiring artistic climate there since 2003. In the area of art and public space (or co-constructing, as the ZVM likes to call it), the ZVM is currently developing a number of projects. In addition, the ZVM organises support activities such as Virtual Zoom – in which artists visualise the transformation of the Zuidas – and Free Spaces – an Artist-In-Residence project in which selected artists are invited to immerse themselves in the Zuidas, and create work in response to it. The ZVM also organises exhibitions and temporary art projects. In the exhibition, the ZVM will present a selection of projects including work by: Krijn de Koning, Giny Vos, Jennifer Tee, Wynolt Visser, André van Bergen, Rob Schröder, Ingo Giezendanner, Jasper Wiedeman, Pieter Wackers and Patty Groot Bluemink. www.virtueel-museum.nl

Bernd Trasberger - Hertie Zuidas - Installation 

In the early nineteen-sixties, lattice-fronted department stores were all the rage. The exterior of the boxy structures was instantly recognisable from a distance and the interior offered maximum product display space. For the ‘Horten’ department store, German architect Egon Eiermann designed a façade based on stylised ceramic shapes in the form of the letter H. This shape was used as the basis for other department stores, making the architecture an element of corporate design. With Hertie Zuidas Trasberger presents a visual exploration, using the demolished façade of the ‘Hertie’ department store in Berlin-Neukoelln in the contemporary frontage of the Zuidas. Part of the façade of the New Amsterdam building is encased in grid-patterned sheeting. New architecture meets old, making visible the relationship between contemporary design and its Modernist past. Bernd Trasberger’s work can be seen in the exhibition BELVEDERE at W139, opening on 5 June. www.w139.nl

Sabine Mooibroek / CASZuidas - Film programme

For Software Sabine Mooibroek has compiled a special film programme for CASZuidas – Contemporary Art Screen Zuidas. The screened works were selected specifically for the location and highlight different aspects of the Zuidas, from the traces left in the (urban) space to money transactions and banking terminology. www.caszuidas.nl

Cascoland - Castaways - Action/Installation

The culture and identity of the Zuidas will evolve as a result of randomness and happenstance rather than imposed concepts. Analogue to this, Cascoland will observe African giant snails that may find themselves washing up at the Zuidas. Where will the wind and water currents take them, and how will they alter the landscape of the Zuidas for good? Participants: Fiona de Bell, Roel Schoenmakers, Bart Majoor, Bert Kramer www.cascoland.com

Software is part of Cosmopolis 2025, an Amsterdam Bright City initiative. Get involved in the Art and Culture expedition:www.amsterdambrightcity.nl  For further details and for more information about the programme, contact Alexandra Landré at the Research Group Art and Public Space:a.landre@rietveldacademie.nl

Organisation: Research Group Art and Public Space: Jeroen Boomgaard, Florian Göttke, Alexandra Landré, Virtual Museum Zuidas: Nathanja van Dijk, Marina de Vries, Henk de Vroom. CASZuidas: Jan Schuijren.  Software is possible thanks to the Virtual Museum Zuidas, CASZuidas, Dutch Art Institute, Sandberg Institute, the Research Group Art and Public Space of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, World Trade Centre Amsterdam, Vesteda, Data-Display, Feedback and Amsterdam Bright City.


Link to website archived.dutchartinstitute.eu/ruffles-and-fray/