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Z-Files #14 and unveiling of the Louis Davids monument

Disclosure: 24 / 03 / 2016
Location: Raamplein

16: 00 hour: Unveiling of the monument, at Raamplein at the head of the Timmerhuis
17: 00 hours: Z-Files #14: Louis Davids and the Jewish history of Rotterdam in the WTC Art Gallery, Meent 132b (Admission free, registration not required.)

The Louis Davids Monument will return to Raamplein this month. In 1983 the memorial monument for Louis David's was festively unveiled, but in 2007 it had to be temporarily stored in connection with the construction of the new Timmerhuis. It is located roughly at the place where Davids was born and was created by visual artist Mathieu Ficheroux. The symbolic aspect, the broken LP, refers to a disappeared past of this neighborhood. (More information about the work can be found at bkor.nl.)

The relocated and partly renovated monument will be unveiled on 24 March at 16: 00 hours at Raamplein, by Rabbi Albert Ringer. Then a song by Louis Davids, performed by chansonnière Anouk Dorfmann.

Z-Files #14
From 17: 00 hour the 14e edition of the Z-Files, containing many interviews, music and images about Louis Davids, the artist Mathieu Ficheroux and the Jewish past of Rotterdam, and the presentation of the book The Zandstraat neighborhood and its Jewish inhabitants. The afternoon is presented by Liesbeth Levy, philosopher and director of LOKAAL, and there are many guests, including Jan Donia (author of Mathieu Ficheroux: Maker and Melancholic, 2008) Hans Schippers, Rob Snijders (co-authors The Zandstraat neighborhood and its Jewish inhabitants) On Roland Vonk (music connoisseur of Rtv Rijnmond). Paul van de Laar (director Museum Rotterdam) pronounces a column, after which Albert Ringer hand over the first copy of the book to Alderman for Culture Pex Langenberg. Also tells Jacques Börger about Tuschinski following the animation Tribute to the City - Tuschinski from artist Anne-Mercedes Langhorst. Chansonnière Anouk Dorfmann provides the musical accompaniment.

Louis Davids (1883-1939) was born in Rotterdam in a poor Jewish artist family with four children. The family lived on Zandstraat in the Jewish neighborhood of Rotterdam, which was also called De Polder. Davids was a talent and performed at theaters and fairs from an early age. He developed as a variety artist and renowned songwriter. Davids lived in Rotterdam for most of his life, nevertheless he is often associated with Amsterdam. Louis Davids was at the cradle of the career of a number of big names such as Wim Kan, Corry Vonk and Wim Sonneveld. His songs have also been performed by many other artists. Davids' rather unexpected death at 55 at the age of 1939 was partly caused by asthma. His famous sister Heintje Davids was the only one of the family to survive the war and she became an important interpreter of the Amsterdam song of life.

CoverThe Zandstraat neighborhood and its Jewish inhabitants
At the end of the 18 century, Rotterdam was, after Amsterdam, the largest Jewish municipality in the Netherlands. The Jewish neighborhood was concentrated in the center of the City until the 1920s. Louis Davids was also born in the Jewish neighborhood on Zandstraat. Authors Hans Schippers, Rob Snijders, Albert Ringer and Chris Buitendijk wrote a book about the history of Zandstraat and the surrounding area (The Zandstraat neighborhood and its Jewish inhabitants (2016) publisher Customs). This street was demolished more than a hundred years ago to make way for the Town Hall, but once formed the heart of the Jewish neighborhood. The neighborhood was known as the first red-light district of Rotterdam, but the fact that these streets had a much richer variety of residents, has often remained underexposed

At the bottom of this post, read the article that Jan Donia wrote about Mathieu Ficheroux Friends in Business (spring 2016) on the occasion of the relocation of the monument.

Mathieu Ficheroux
Commissioned by the municipality of Rotterdam, Mathieu Ficheroux (1925-2003) designed in 1983 the 'Louis Davids monument' that was placed on the Raamplein in honor of David's' 100 year of birth. Ficheroux was asked because of the wish to have the assignment designed by an outspoken Rotterdam artist. On his last piece of sheet music, Louis Davids wrote the words: "I hope that when I am no longer there, my songs will always be remembered." Ficheroux has included this rule in the label of the broken full-length album, in addition to a drawn portrait of David.

The 78 touring plate (the memorial plate) stands for the medium of that time. The break as a dramatic element refers to Davids' texts that were lived through but also knew humor (the smile and the tear) and to the difficult period in which David lived. In addition to careful design, alienation and damage, Ficheroux's entire oeuvre plays a role. His work consists of paintings, reliefs and objects; he only made a few works for public space. On the Mauritsstraat is his portrait of Multatuli, very much loved by Rotterdammers, with the accompanying text: "Seen from the moon, we are all the same size."

Z-Files #14 is organized by BKOR.

116-121 JAN DONIA NR1 2016-01 116-121 JAN DONIA NR1 2016-02

(click to read)

TENT is the platform for contemporary art in the context of Rotterdam with exhibitions, new productions, educational projects, performances and events with makers from the city and beyond.
To website TENT

Sculpture International Rotterdam manages the international sculpture collection of Rotterdam, brings it to the attention and develops a metropolitan international art policy.
To the SIR website

Forest polder fox, Florentijn Hofman, Schiedamseweg, 2020. Photo: Otto Snoek

BKOR manages and renews the extensive city collection in collaboration with Rotterdam residents, companies and institutions. BKOR advises the municipality, citizens and artists on the realization, placement, relocation and remediation of public works of art.
To the BKOR website

Art Office mediates, informs and supports visual artists from Rotterdam with regard to their professional practice. For artists, institutions and individuals.
To the Art Office website