CBK Rotterdam

Center for Visual Arts Rotterdam

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Vertebrate paleontologist Jelle Reumer talks about the fossils that could be found in this work by Wotruba.

Z-files XL: the unique art collection of Rotterdam

Z-Files: 19 / 06 / 2016
Location: The New Institute

Z-Files XL: the unique art collection of Rotterdam
Sunday 19 June, 13: 30 - 17: 30 hour (walk-in from 13 hour)
Location: auditorium Het Nieuwe Instituut
Free entrance, tickets can be ordered here: During this afternoon, if there is room, passers-by can walk in at the start of each part. The program can be read at the entrance of Het Nieuwe Instituut.

In collaboration with Jeroen Boomgaard of the Art & Public Space research group (LAPS), Sculpture International Rotterdam (SIR) and BKOR (both CBK Rotterdam programs) are organizing an extra long edition of the Z-Files, about artworks in the Rotterdam street scene. Various people from Rotterdam with a special view of the art phenomenon have been asked to speak about 'their' artwork in the public space. On Sunday 21 August will find part two of these Z-Files XL place: five Rotterdam-based artists and storytellers are developing their own guided tours, one of which will perhaps lead past dozens of works of art, and the other perhaps one hour will reflect on one piece of art; one guide will walk, the other will approach the art by bicycle, metro or boat.

While Z-Files XL eight Rotterdammers tell about an artwork of their choice in Rotterdam: Maziar Afrassiabi (founder and director of Rib Art Space); Nicky Assmann (artist); Nathalie Hearts (director of MAMA); Raoul de Jong (writer); Ernest van der Kwast (writer and program maker); Ine Lamers (visual artist), Jelle Reumer (paleontologist and publicist), Sjoerd Westbroek (artist and educator). They each have their own approach: for example, Ernest van der Kwast pays tribute to the neglected 'Naum Gabo' at the Bijenkorf, Raoul de Jong talks about the famous bronze Fikkie on the Oude Binnenweg, Ine Lamers talks about the art of failure the artwork of Job Koelewijn in the water of the Westersingel, and Jelle Reumer examines the fossil structures in the limestone of the Wotruba and tells about fossil sea lilies in the pedestals along the Westersingel. The afternoon is presented by Jeroen Boomgaard (LAPS) and opened by Guus Beumer (director of the New Institute) and Dees Linders (artistic leader SIR).

The readings of approximately 15 minutes are alternated with a compilation of videos about the placement and relocation, the making and demolition of artworks in Rotterdam, with images of, among other things, the triumphal journey through the city of Rotterdam. Santa Claus, the transport of the 'Anteater' from Calder to Düsseldorf, the lessons to the 'Sorry' city caller by Elmgreen & Dragset and the restoration of The apples from Kees Franse.

The unique art collection of Rotterdam
The art collection of the city of Rotterdam is not only extensive, but especially of unprecedented high and special quality. The origin of this Rotterdam art collection is in the reconstruction period. Visual art was in high demand, artworks had to provide universal symbols that gave comfort and strength in times of despair and a city in ruins. The start of this quirky collection was made with three figureheads of the city: The destroyed city by Ossip Zadkine (1953), the untitled sculpture by Naum Gabo for the Bijenkorf (1957), and the brick relief (Wall Relief no 1., 1955) by Henry Moore.

Z-Files, Art and the City
BKOR en Sculpture International Rotterdam are programs from CBK Rotterdam. They work closely together to strengthen and renew the Rotterdam public space. They regularly organize this Z-Files about art and the city in which art, public space and the city are addressed through lectures, presentations and excursions. The aim of the program is to bring attention to the special collection of artworks in the public space of Rotterdam and to highlight current developments in the city.

Z-Files XL takes place in the context of CBK Rotterdam Celebrates Art and the City, a program with which CBK Rotterdam 75 celebrates reconstruction of the city. The program is part of Rotterdam is celebrating the city!.


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