New town planners
Rotterdam city artists, it is becoming a good tradition. We are delighted to announce the city draughtsmen 2020: Pris Roos, Erico Smit and Frank Stoks.
“It is difficult to write a jury report at the end of March 2020. Too much clarion call must be avoided, everyone is in a state of utmost readiness for things other than for which the jury 'met'. On the other hand, it is also true that life continues, that we want artists to be able to continue their work. And later we want to be able to see how Rotterdam was in 2020, when the Coronavirus gripped the entire world. These are the reasons why the Municipal Archives of Rotterdam and CBK Rotterdam decided to allow the City Signers 2020 to continue (in a somewhat different form) (…). ”
Pris Roos is a Rotterdam woman who has both legs in society. The stories for which there is normally no audience find their way in her drawings. Her colorful portraits are reminiscent of the Afrikaandermarkt and vibrant toko's, the same with which Pris grew up. She really looks at people, where do they come today, what journey did they take? And records this in very direct images. It would be interesting if she could show how people are coping with this global disaster.
Erico Smit is inspired by Japanese manga strips, works on the skin of time and is versatile in making a graphic novel. Smit promises to show another Rotterdam, the side streets of Rotterdam. Now that the Koopgoot has died out, the jury is very curious about how daily life is tackled in those side streets. His interplay of lines and use of color have something ominous. An atmosphere that fits well with this assignment.
Frank Stoks is a real city draftsman. Anyone on the road in Rotterdam will meet him on the street, always with pen and paper in his hand - looking concentratedly at his subject, he is passionately drawing. Stoks' drawings have a strong narrative quality and he also continues to technically challenge himself by using different drawing materials, analog and digital. In his motivation, Stoks described himself as an explorer - he will need that gift to visualize a new world.
Jury report City Draftsman 2020
It is difficult to write a jury report at the end of March 2020. Too much clarion call must be avoided, everyone is in a state of utmost readiness for things other than for which the jury 'met'. On the other hand, it is also true that life continues, that we want artists to be able to continue their work. And later we want to be able to see how Rotterdam was in 2020, when the Coronavirus gripped the entire world. These are the reasons why City Archives Rotterdam and CBK Rotterdam decided to allow the City Draftsman 2020 (in a somewhat different form) to continue and to record the result of the jury deliberation in this jury report.
After a pilot project in 2018, in which ten Rotterdam artists captured ten different buildings by the Rotterdam architect Hugh Maaskant, and the 2019 edition in which three artists drew the city from the themes of street culture, urban agriculture and sport, City Archives Rotterdam and CBK Rotterdam chose this year the theme People make the city. We wrote in the call: whether we want it or not, Rotterdam is banging and buzzing like never before, and sometimes it chafes a bit. Those who only know Rotterdam from about twenty years ago will be breathless when they see all the people who are now Rotterdam together. We are looking for three city draughtsmen who are armed with a sketchbook to record the new Rotterdam. Not only through buildings, but especially the people who make our city - on the street, at work, young people, the elderly, in the tram, on the furniture boulevard, the Chinese supermarket, the barber, in the Zuiderpark, at the Charloisse Hoofd , eating fries on the Afrikaandermarkt or the Binnenrotte, strolling along the Hoogstraat between Bogatir and Woei - in short, the whole city where people are together and live with each other, encounters on the square meter. Thus the call.
Due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus and the measures we took in accordance with the national guidelines on its further distribution, the planned jury meeting could not take place. The question was, of course, whether we would like to see Stadstekenaars 2020 take place anyway. Soon a virtual discussion arose between the jury members about whether it is wiser to ensure that everyone observes the desired social distance and simply stays at home or whether it is just our job to report immediately what is already can be seen as a major event in the existing world order. We finally chose the latter. In our letter to the 52 artists who submitted their documentation for the theme People make the city, we wrote that it was important to draw. And that Rotterdam artists are given the opportunity to practice their profession and provide for their maintenance, however modest that contribution may be. And instead of waiting for ordinary life to start again, we think it is very important to capture the city now - the surreal, the unheimlichebut also solidarity, creativity. That is why we have decided to choose 52 of the 3 entrants who will start working with Rotterdam immediately in times of Corona. In all cases, this will be a personal report of what is happening to us now. Of course we will talk about which drawings will be included in the City Archives at some point. Whether and how a presentation takes place in the Kunsthal. But for now we want to create an opportunity to let 3 artists give their view of our reality. The City Archives and CBK Rotterdam will regularly publish scribbles, sketches, drawings of these 3 artists on our social media in this process.
We of course agree with the artists that they will at all times observe 100% of any instructions given by the government and RIVM regarding the protection of themselves and others.
And then we come to the point that every jury report is at the core: namely to announce the winners. But first of all, the jury's observation that the level of entrants this year was particularly high and that the theme People make the city is also a very personal challenge for many. That makes the choice particularly difficult. And it became even more difficult when it was decided that the theme is Rotterdam in times of Corona. In fact, you ask the artists not only to capture the people (who make the city), but people who have to survive in a crisis situation, in a city that is empty and deserted, a city in a state of emergency, not the hip one Rotterdam that swings out of the city, the Rotterdam that we love so much. Moreover, in this case the artists are not just observers, no, they are just as vulnerable as the people they are going to capture, they are also part of that city in a state of emergency. According to the jury, this requires powerful draughtsmen who can empathize very well and quickly with the new conditions of the city and who are able to report in a humane and empathetic manner from their social distance.
No matter how difficult the choice was, the jury was convinced that Pris Roos, Erico Smit and Frank Stoks have been selected as City Signers 2020 and wishes them much success and wisdom with the difficult task of Rotterdam in times of Corona.
Rotterdam, March 23, 2020, on behalf of the jury City 2020 artists, consisting of Hugo Borst (Rotterdam art lover and collector), Shehera Grot (junior curator Kunsthal), Hedy Tjin (artist), Jantje Steenhuis (director of the City Archives of Rotterdam), Wanda Waanders (curator Rotterdam City Archives) and Ove Lucas (director CBK Rotterdam).
Publication date: 24 / 03 / 2020