Kunst & Vaarwerk, 'Rolled newspaper', 1981, photo: Jannes Linders

8 x looking back on 2022 with the team of BKOR and SIR

During the last days of 2022, BKOR and SIR look back on a year full of wonderful projects. How did they experience 2022? And what is coming in 2023?

We wish everyone a happy new year and a happy 2023!

Sannetje van Haarst, Producer Sculpture International Rotterdam

Which project from 2022 would you like to look back on?
Maashaven Palace, a project by Sculpture International Rotterdam for and about Rotterdam South was extremely exciting! The implementation was prevented by covid from March 2020, after which we reviewed every six months whether and how to give visibility to the project proposals previously submitted by invited artists. Because it was not certain whether an audience could be present at all, Kim Bouvy and I have the program Studio Palace Maashaven developed. Art in the public space from the local, inclusive context with room for experimentation with the use of, yes, radio!
Kim suggested the Sunday radio show in the Gemaal op Zuid together in terms of content. The frame of Maashaven Palace Studio was formed by new and existing works of art in the surrounding public space in the Afrikaanderwijk. The participating artists were Ken Lum, Erik van Lieshout, Jeroen Jongeleen, Zoë Cochia (Galerie Niffo), Collective Work (Jeanne van Heeswijk), Operator Radio, GTBT, Art Index, Boudewijn Bollmann, Leana van Boven, Roel Meelkop, 75B and many others.

Which has new perspectives Maashaven Palace delivered?
Maashaven Palace Studio was interesting because of the close collaboration, also in terms of content, with Kim Bouvy. New for us was the medium of radio, not often used by BKOR and SIR to bring art and artists/initiatives to the public's attention, so that the program was accessible to everyone at the time of broadcast or later. What matters is that postponement did not mean cancellation. We were able to give some artists the space to realize their proposals, even if it was perhaps a few years later. became so Fountain Maashaven by Jeroen Jongeleen (finally a fountain in Zuid, a work of art for cycling around!) and Social Harbor – Moving Words of Collective Work completed in 2022. These exceptional, refined, always fresh works of art can still be seen at Zuid, 24/7, for everyone.

What projects are you currently working on?
At the moment colleague Isa and I are busy with the special collection of art in public space Hoogvliet. We are relocating works of art in this most green area of ​​Rotterdam. In doing so, we put works of art on the map, together with the enthusiastic landscape architects of Stadsontwikkeling. A group of art-loving residents is also involved. To be continued!

photo: Boudewijn Bollmann

Marjolein Geraedts, communication BKOR/SIR

Which projects from 2022 would you like to look back on?
Last year we published no less than two publications, and then also monographs about one image each. In front of Gabo. Portrait of a sculpture has been researched for years. For example, Sannetje van Haarst and Nienke Post have delved deep into numerous image archives such as that of Het Nieuwe Instituut, and art historian Patricia van Ulzen even visited the Yale library to add a new chapter to the biography of Gabo and his nameless sculpture at the Bijenkorf. . Although the work of art has been present in the city since 1957, it still manages to defy time thanks to its ingenious shape that everyone can give their own meaning. For me, that is the strength of this book: the many angles from which to approach it The thing is described – from the artist, the client and the architecture experts to the Rotterdammers and tourists who walk and cycle past it every day.
Earlier that month we presented a beautiful and very interesting content pocketbook about the Erasmus statue. This bronze artwork by Hendrick de Keyser was unveiled four hundred years ago, on April 30, 1622, in the center of Rotterdam. On the occasion of this anniversary, CBK Rotterdam organized a symposium in collaboration with Esther Didden, in which speakers such as Professor Ronald van Raak and Rijksmuseum curator Frits Scholten discussed a multitude of themes, including the history of the image and the ideas of the humanist Erasmus. All those contributions are included in this book, as is a flipchart of photographs by Jannes Linders. Both books are for sale in the bookshop of TENT Rotterdam. 

photo: Fleur Beerthuis

Jeanine van Berkel, communication BKOR/SIR

Which project from 2022 has stayed with you the most?
2022 was a special year, because this year it existed Erasmus statue four hundred years. That is why on Friday, April 29, Sculpture International Rotterdam and BKOR, programs of CBK Rotterdam, the Symposium Erasmus statue 400 years | 400 years Rotterdam City Collection in four hundred years Erasmus statue and the beginning of the collection of works of art in public space organized in the Laurenskerk. This statue was the first public statue for a hero of the spirit in the Northern Netherlands. So very special! During this symposium, the history of the image, Erasmus himself and the art collection of Rotterdam were extensively discussed.

How has this project changed your perspective on art in public space?
One of the speakers has stayed with me in particular, namely Annet Zondervan, director of CBK Zuidoost. Zondervan reflected on the tumultuous work process and the opening of the Amsterdam monument to Anton de Kom in 2006. She referred to the sensitivities surrounding the black-and-white division of the working group, when it turned out that the white work-related people did not speak the same language as the black residents. For example, the majority of the Surinamese Dutch from the Bijlmer had expected a similar sculpture, but the design ultimately chosen by Jikke van Loon consisted of a naked man with a severed hand. After twelve years, CBK Zuidoost got a second chance with the Nelson Mandela Memorial by South African artist Mohau Modisakeng. CBK Zuidoost played a strictly facilitating role in this project and all decisions were taken by the carefully composed working group. I appreciated how pain points from a previous process were openly discussed during the symposium and how they were improved in a second one. The good news is that all texts, including Zondervan's presentation, can be read in the publication of the same name, available at the TENT Rotterdam bookshop!

photo: Aad Hoogendoorn

Isa Leijdekkers, junior project leader BKOR

Which project from 2022 would you like to look back on?  
One of the projects of 2022 that I look back on with great pleasure is Rolled up newspaper van Kunst & Vaarwerk, the mural that was completely restored last spring. It was one of my first projects as a junior project leader at BKOR, where I started in January this year. The work has been located at the Zuidplein metro station since 1981 and was in dire need of a makeover. The most special thing about the restoration project is that it was carried out by the same people who painted the column more than forty years ago. It was great fun to follow the entire process of about five weeks and to see how the front page of Het Vrije Volk reappeared letter by letter on the pillar.

How did the collaboration with the artists and restorers go?
Hans Citroen of Kunst & Vaarwerk brought the original photo from the newspaper so that it could serve as an example for the hand-painted, enlarged image. In this way he could occasionally judge the work of the men. It was a great collaboration, in which the performers taught me a lot about the world of murals and restorations. In addition, it is a good example of a project in public space in which many different parties are involved, each of whom has their own wishes. It was a very educational project in many ways, but I especially enjoyed the attention and involvement with which the restoration was completed. A pillar that I used to just walk past, now really feels a bit personal.

photo: Jannes Linders

About Lucas, director CBK Rotterdam

Which project in 2022 would you like to look back on? 
Phew, that's a tough question. Such fantastic things are happening in this area, new statues, but also restorations, meetings with local residents, debates. That's a really hard choice, but I think I'll just choose a little homage that is a premiere at the same time! This year we teamed up with Dees Linders, former artistic director of SIR, three videos made about Rotterdam images in which she was involved. Dees was forced to retire without much ado during the pandemic and we felt something still needed to be done. Her beautiful stories with the images of Cosima von Bonin, Elmgreen & Dragset en Susan Philipsz show Dees' passion for art in the public space in her characteristic way: stubborn, erudite and loving.

Nienke Post, BKOR collection manager

Which project from 2022 would you like to look back on? 
At the end of October we already released the fifth roadmap! Because we have the painting Rolled up newspaper (1981) by Kunst & Vaarwerk have fully restored this year, we wanted to start with this great work of art at the Zuidplein bus station. From there, the route passes various works of art in the Millinxbuurt and Afrikaanderwijk towards the Erasmus Bridge. The route then runs over Coolsingel and Weena to Central Station. The Art route Rotterdam, from Zuidplein to Central Station once again provides a very nice overview of visual art in public space. This time the card shows 38 works of art with a beautiful photo. For the second time, we have entered into a partnership with Stichting Oren en Ogen Tekort, which has made an image description for people with a visual impairment for each work of art. During the presentation, we walked along part of the route with twenty interested people. It was very nice to see how people with a visual impairment can enjoy visual art more in this way.

Can we expect another roadmap in the coming year?
We try to make a roadmap every year, because it is a very nice way to bring together both old and new works of art, as well as known and lesser-known works. With the help of good photos and short texts, we try to inform residents and interested parties about how much art is present in the city. Every year we select a different area, so that we will hopefully be able to make a nice map for the whole of Rotterdam in the long term. In addition, at the beginning of 2023 the maps will be presented in an improved and more user-friendly way www.bkor.nl. Another development on the website will follow at a later stage. The BKOR website attracts three to four thousand visitors a month, which I am very proud of. My intention for 2023 is to make the website even better and to expand it even more!

photo: Mark Bolk

Maartje Berendsen, freelance project leader BKOR

Which project from 2022 would you like to look back on?
Last year I thoroughly enjoyed the collaboration with artist Maud van den Beuken. It was a pleasure working with her on the project Large water travels along the Nieuwe Maas set up and run. Her sculpture big water, a cast of the bottom of the Mississippi, met our river and traveled along its banks on a trailer. Part of the work was the three conversations that Maud had with various experts about the river. The questions she asked these people, and the audience that was present, are urgent and important.

What new insights did you gain during this project?
Not only the substantive discussions, but also the three different locations gave me new insights. Talking about the rights of the river as a living entity, in a place along the Meuse that I didn't know yet, actually resulted in a different way of looking. If it were up to Maud, her interlocutors and the audience, the series of conversations could have been a lot longer. Luckily we still have the movie! This will soon be available on the BKOR website.

What can we expect in the coming year?
For 2023 I am looking forward to the arrival of a beautiful work of art by Maria Roosen at the cemetery in Crooswijk: Crying sun. It will be as beautiful as its title.

photo: BKOR archive

Marjolijn van der Meijden, project leader BKOR

Which project from 2022 would you like to look back on?
In the facade artwork Sash do you recognize the hand of the master. The Rotterdam artist Ron van der Ende has made a monumental work, in the form of a sliding window, for Kralingen on a facade at the head of the Voorschoterlaan. The attention he has paid to every aspect of the creation of his design from the logging, the drying process and the rhythm of the assembly completes the work. Despite the many preconditions that a facade must meet, Ron has met Sash managed to preserve the autonomous character of his design from the very first moment. His first work of art in public space is a natural success. Ron made one with his daughter Mila video impression from the creation, from tree, to plank, to Sash.

Can you tell us something about the collaboration with the artist?
Smart, precise and stoic. Ron does not wait for questions - what is allowed or not - but delivered a well thought-out design that is as complete as possible. So he wants to be ahead of those questions. That also immediately brought with it an enormous amount of details that we worked through together. 'We' therefore include Woonstad – the owner of the apartment complex, residents who took the initiative, Vincent Petit who carried out the metal suspension and the civil servants who contributed ideas. And then the permit… His working method is sustainable, traditional and unique. The Rotterdam sculpture collection has gained a beautiful work of art, which was made possible in part thanks to contributions from various funds.

What are you currently working on? What can we expect in the coming year?
For the coming year we expect another delivery from a Rotterdam artist. It Razzia Memorial Rotterdam by Anne Wenzel on the Parkkade. She also lets every piece of her (ceramic) design go through her own hands: a gigantic traditional process. She always retains control, just like Ron van der Ende. With photos and film images she makes the public a part of the creation. So keep an eye out on our social media for the iconic photos that Lotte van Stekelenburg takes of the sculptor at work! From this place I also like to give my compliments to the initiators from the Razzia Monument that make this project possible.

photo: Jannes Linders
Publication date: 21 / 12 / 2022