'Big water' travels along the Nieuwe Maas


The work travels on September 24, 1, 8 and 14 big water (2021) by visual artist Maud van den Beuken along the Nieuwe Maas. Commissioned by BKOR, the artwork questions our relationship to the river on both a local and global scale. Who bears the responsibility? The work can be visited at four different locations along the river. There is also a substantive program on each of these days, in which the artist enters into conversation with professionals and the public. The project is affiliated with 150 years New Waterway.

By entering into discussions with policymakers, artists, environmentalists, residents, water management experts and dredgers, we investigate the Nieuwe Maas as a non-human form of life and the possibility of its own legal personality. This series of conversations forms the basis for a lengthy artistic investigation into the appropriation of the river and how we can give it a voice through artistic means.

'big water' during Images in Leiden, 2021, photo: LNDW Studio

#1 The river inside

Date: Saturday September 24
Location: Van Oord, Schaardijk 211, Rotterdam (also accessible by boat from the Island of Brienenoord, Piet Smitkade, departures every hour between 12.30 pm and 17.30 pm)
The work can be visited between 12.30 – 18.00
Content program: 15.00 pm – 17.00 pm
moderator: Renée Rooijmans
Speakers: Mark van Koningsveld (professor. Ports & Waterways | Van Oord, TU Delft), Esther Blom (co-director ARK Nature Development), Maud van den Beuken (visual artist)
Free entry, no reservation required.

In the first of the series Large water travels along the Nieuwe Maas Maud van den Beuken investigates the natural course of the river and its sedimentation processes in contrast to the 'basic shape' of the river that is maintained. During the 150 Years Ahead Festival within the program of 150 years New Waterway, we will discuss the river as an architecture at the Van Oord company site with an engineer, river expert and landscape architect.

#2 We, the river

Date: Saturday 1 October
Location: The Maaskantine, Plantagelaan 2, Rotterdam
The work is te visits between 12.00 noon – 18.00 p.m.
Content program: 15.00 pm – 17.00 pm
moderator: Renée Rooijmans
Free entry, no reservation required.
Note: This program was originally scheduled for October 8. On that date you will now find The river as a living entity place.

In this second edition, Maud van den Beuken invites the public to participate in the conversation. Inspired by the concept of 'Parliament of things' of the French sociologist/political scientist Bruno Latour, you take on the voice of a non-human and we speak with and about the river as an independent entity.

#3 The river as a living entity

Date: Saturday 8 October
The location is at Schiehaven, 51°54’08.9″N 4°27’11.2″E.
The work can be visited between 12.00 – 18.00
Content program: 15.00 pm – 17.00 pm
moderator: Renée Rooijmans
Speakers: Eric van der Schans (director Environmental Management at Port of Rotterdam), Monique Marijnissen (senior landscape designer at Urban Development Municipality of Rotterdam), Klaas Kuitenbrouwer (initiator Zoöp and researcher Het Nieuwe Instituut), Maud van den Beuken.
Free entry, no reservation required
Note: This program was originally scheduled for October 1. The program will now take place on that date We, the river place.

In the third of the series Large water travels along the Nieuwe Maas Maud van den Beuken examines the river as a living entity. By entering into discussions with the Port of Rotterdam, the Municipality of Rotterdam and a representative of the river itself, she investigates what interests people have in the river and how we give space to the voice of the river. What voice does the river itself have and how do we recognize this voice?

Maud van den Beuken, photo: Photologix

#4 Meet 'Big water'

Date: Friday October 14
Location: SS Rotterdam
The work is te visits between 09.00 noon – 18.00 p.m.
Free entry, no reservation required.

During this fourth and final edition, as a visitor you can have a conversation with Maud van den Beuken about her work big water. She will during the International Symposium: 150 Years New Waterway closing on 150 years New Waterway, to be present all day with her work at the SS Rotterdam.


About Big water

big water (2021) is a 1:1 replica of a cross-section of the Mississippi, which Maud van den Beuken 3D scanned at the source. She immortalized the river in her shape by computer-controlled milling of the 3D model on a full scale. The work was created as a result of two journeys in which the artist followed two rivers on foot: the Kaveri in India and exactly on the other side of the earth, at the same latitude, the Mississippi in the United States. Upon arrival at the Kaveri, the entire river was found to contain no water due to persistent drought. The Mississippi just has too much water; the water level shows a sustained rise. Together with dredging and offshore company Van Oord, Van den Beuken scanned a cross-section of the source area of ​​the Mississippi using sonar technology. The sculpture shows the full-scale volume of water from the source of the Mississippi, as if she brought it with her herself. Maud van den Beuken made this work on behalf of the sculpture route Statues in Leiden in 2021, curated by Suzanne Wallinga.

Photo: LNDW Studio

Large water travels along the Nieuwe Maas is made possible in part by Krone Trailer BV.

Publication date: 16 / 09 / 2022