25 Ooltgensplaatweg

Unveiling 2 window stories

On Monday 28 October at 17.30 hours, fourteen portico stalls will be unveiled in the Ooltgensplaatweg, designed by artists Jan van de Pavert and Milou van Ham.

When the Rotterdam residential district of Pendrecht was completed in the 1950s, it was regarded as a jewel of reconstruction. Tourists came from all over the country for this modern design by Bauhaus architect Lotte Stam-Beese. At the end of the last century, little of that original beauty could be seen in the impoverished neighborhood, where Rotterdam started a year-long renovation. The original design became the starting point for demolition, renovation and refurbishment. The Center for Visual Arts Rotterdam rewarded this in 2009 with an equally large-scale art project: fifty-six glass appliqué windows by five artists, narrating the design ideas of the past.

Van de Pavert cites images of transient utopias that were so defining in the last century. In her text works, Van Ham extends the idealism from after the war to today. This means that the 'Raamvertellingen' project has seventy works of art that make this renovated district a public museum.

Ideologies and utopias are a fixed theme in the work of Jan van de Pavert. His seven enamelled windows for Pendrecht range from landscapes with propagandistic frames from distant lands and times to the highly ordered Dutch architecture of today. It is precisely in Pendrecht that international comparison is appropriate. Here, architect and urban planner Stam-Beese put Bauhaus ideals into practice that she had tested in the Soviet Union and at Le Corbusier's CIAM. After completion of the neighborhood in the 1950s, it would serve as an example for many Dutch residential areas. At the windows of Van de Pavert, Milou van Ham designed seven texts with various texts about utopias. They range from close by, over the Social Housing Act, to the Gilgamesh epic and Thomas More. She also makes the leap from abstract ideals to Dutch applications.

Pendrecht has experienced a major fall. At the time, hailed as the pearl of reconstruction, it would become the largest problem neighborhood in the Netherlands. As a result, the planned refurbishment of around the turn of the century automatically led to much discussion about the usefulness and guilt of architecture and the applicability of idealism. Afterwards, these subjects received much follow-up in debates in the Netherlands. Van Schagen Architecten brought the original design ideas back to the neighborhood in an updated way, to which the Center for Visual Arts hooked on this with Window Tales 1. The glass appliqué windows by Ben Zegers are about the abstract patterns of textile artist Stam-Beese, Stang Gubbels zoomed in on the geometric harmony of the neighborhood, Anuli Croon on the green design, Sarianne Breuker on the family as the cornerstone of society and Milou van Ham composed text frames with texts from Stam-Beese. They are works of art that combine pros and cons, then and now. Various glass techniques adorned a lot of reconstruction architecture, but there was no money for that in Pendrecht at the time. This shortcoming has been remedied by Window Tells 1 and 2, with glass appliqué techniques and enamelled glass, respectively.

The windows of Raamvertellingen 1 can be seen in the renovated porch houses on the Middelharnisstraat and Melissantstraat. Window stories 2 is located on the Ooltgensplaat. Both series of windows were created under the artistic direction of Olphaert den Otter.

During the unveiling on Monday 28 October from 17.30 o'clock on the Ooltgensplaatweg, Walter Bart of theater group Wunderbaum acts as presenter and interviews the artists. Antoinette Laan, Alderman for Sports and Recreation, Art and Culture, will unveil the artworks.

Window narrations 2 was created on the initiative of Peter Hakker of Woonstad Rotterdam, in collaboration with the Center for Visual Arts Rotterdam, artist Olphaert den Otter and Firma Woord en Daad (fundraising). The glass plates are manufactured by the company GBB Tilburg. Raamvertellingen 1 was accompanied by the publication 'Raamvertellingen, Kunst in Pendrecht', which places the project in an art historical perspective, available through the Centrum Beeldende Kunst Rotterdam.