Zonder titel, Margot Zanstra, 1973
No matter how many times you walk around Margot Zanstra’s work, it will never be pleasant
Margot Zanstra hardly ever gives her artworks titles. She didn’t in this case of her sculpture that is stuck between the low-rise and the high-rise parts of the Rembrandtpark Building. The complex was developed for the AMRO Bank in 1973 by the artist’s husband Piet Zanstra’s architectural firm. Since a couple of years the high-rise building of the complex accommodates a hotel, the Ramada Apollo Amsterdam Centre, whose name and allure contrast sharply with Zanstra’s artwork. Inside the walls of the hotel the principle of hospitality is central; it is dictated what we ought to think about it (pleasant) and any critical note will be muffled, out of politeness. Outside where the work is but where title and creator are kept out of sight, reality is harsher. No matter how many times you walk around the sculpture with its concrete geometrical shapes, it really will never be ‘pleasant’.
When some years ago the Rembrandpark buildings were vacant, a property developer decided to buy the complex and transform the office buildings into a hotel. The landscape architect involved did not think Zanstra’s artwork fit the bill and it was to be replaced with a courtyard breathing hospitality. Until now it hasn’t come that far. And so Untitled remains, as an obstinate permanent lodger at the Ramada hotel.
Goede, Lida (2011) Zanstra en Zanstra, www.buitenbeeldinbeeld.nl. URL bezocht op 25 mei 2018. https://www.buitenbeeldinbeeld.nl/Slotervaart/Zanstra.htm