Public Art. Amsterdam

BOLD TOREN BOUWMATERIALEN

Strike a Pose – Wafae Ahalouch

Amsterdam, the magic center, art and counterculture 1967-1970

Schip van Slebos

De Appel

Het Bankje

Het Raam

De Oude Kerk

Het Stoepje

Licht

De Brug

De Brug

Ruimtestructuur

Het Zandkasteel en de Amsterdamse Poort

How to Kill a Tree, Edward Clydesdale Thomson

City Cells

Nelson Mandela

Monument tegen Apartheid en Racisme

DOE IETS / DO SOMETHING

Spanje Monument

De Muur

Gedenkteken Steven van Dorpel

De Grote Glijbaan

Yellow Wings

Dolle Mina

Man en Schaap

Hortus Botanicus

Portrait of Jan Pieterszoon Coen, J.L. Vreugde

Anton de Kom

Now, Speak!

Tayouken Piss

Monument Bijlmerramp

Sequin Monument

Mama Aisa

Zonder titel (Twee Schuine Naalden)

Nationaal Monument Slavernijverleden

Monument for Martin Luther King

Gloei!

Voor de Bijen

Industrieel Monument

The Black Archives

Tussentijd

Corned Beef

Sami

Brace for Impact, Node #6

Untitled (You Don’t Have To Be Here)

Staalmanplein

Wegwerphuisje

Groot Landschap

De 7 poorten

Klimmuur

De Kies

Black Waves

Tectona Grandis

Stapeling omlaag

Animaris Rhinoseros Transport

Tuinen van West

De Poort van Constant

Fietstunnel station Amsterdam CS

Noordbeeld

NDSM-Werf

Ontmoetingsplaats

IJ boulevard

ADM monument

De Ceuvel

NDSM-Werf

Observatorium

De Ceuvel

Gedenkteken Ataturk

Twee Beelden

Sunday Seminar Pay Attention Please! curating the city

Official Opening Pay Attention Please!

De Kost en de Baat

Van Eesteren Museum and Aldo van Eyck’s climbing frames

Constructie met I-balken, André Volten

Mirage, Tamás Kaszás

Rembo, Bastienne Kramer

Untitled, Margot Zanstra

Horse Chestnut, Amok Island

2 U’s naar buiten / 2 U’s naar binnen, Carel Visser

Opstandingskerk, Marius Duintjer

Cascoland

WOW Amsterdam

Leonard van Munster, Under Heaven 02

Lex Horn, Concrete relief Hendrik de Keyser

Het Wiel, Jeroen Henneman

Herbert Nouwens, Brettensuite

White Noise

De Wachter

Feestelijke Beelden (festive sculptures)

Your Life is Calling

Untitled

Primum movens ultimum moriens

11 Rue Simon Crubellier

Lady Solid

Opgelichte Stoeptegels

Ode to Mungus, Menhir Tower and Spire

Untitled (Hildo)

The First Turk Immigrant or The Nameless Heroes of The Revolution – Framer Framed

Amsterdam, the Magic Center Art and counterculture 1967-1970, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Monument for the White Cube – P/////AKT

Monuments to the Unsung – Framer Framed

wild care, tame neglect – Frankendael Foundation

GET LOST – art route, several artists

Ode to the Bijlmer – CBK Zuidoost

Untitled (You Don’t Have To Be Here) – De Appel

We should have a conversation (2018) – De Appel

Fiep van Bodegom

Roos van Rijswijk

Alma Mathijsen

Massih Hutak

Chris Keulemans

Rashid Novaire

FacebookTwitter
  • permanent
  • accessible

In 1990, one hundred years after his death, the city of Amsterdam honoured the life and work of Vincent van Gogh with a large retrospective, a Van Gogh Village at Museumplein and an enormous amount of merchandise. Although the art world observed the celebration with certain disdain, no one really stood up against the commercialised spectacle. Until the last day of March, when a sculpture was hoisted from a truck and illegally placed on the square. Clenched fists raised above the ground. Your Life is Calling, so claimed the artists Paul van Pieck and Benno Réwinkel. This sculpture was their protest against the commercialisation of the major Dutch art museums and a call out to their colleagues for action. At first the sculpture was thought to be part of the Van Gogh exhibition, but when it turned out not to be somehow it was allowed to stay. It was not before 1998, when the square was refurbished, that the sculpture was dismantled and stored in a depot.

The public domain is seen by many theorists as the ultimate space for the manifestation of democracy, a place for the people to gather and discuss political issues, to express their discontent and come into action if needed, to take part in the organisation of society. Anarchistic as it may seem, even in the public domain the authorities assert control and participation is limited. Artists working in public space often have to deal with the power structures that organise public space, like urban planners, the local government and commissioners.

In that sense, Your Life is Calling is exceptional compared to the other works on this route. It was installed in public space without a commissioner and without permission from the city government. If you recognise this space as constantly being in flux, then you’ll see how artists and their artworks can play an important role shaping it. Your Life is Calling’s condemnation of the museums’ commercial policies exemplifies how an artwork can literally and metaphorically transform public space. Installing the sculpture physically changed the place, but apart from that the work’s presence may influence its spectators by making them aware of issues at play inside (and outside) the museum world.

For Van Pieck and Réwinkel it is important to be involved in their social environment. It was always their ambition to legalise Your Life is Calling. After it was removed from Museumplein they actively looked for an alternative location for the work. In 1999, the bouquet of fists was reinstalled in Beatrixpark with the city’s consent and it’s still there. But the question is how the relocation has affected the work’s original significance. A protest against museum policy on a green slope amidst the flower beds in the peaceful oasis of the park in the centre of the otherwise tumultuous Zuidas: the bold statement seems out of place here, weakened. Outside the Museumplein context the work is not as persuasive. It seems that this time art has surrendered to the power of the urban planners and Museumplein has lost a potent artistic symbol.

More information

Foto’s van de illegale plaatsing van Your life is calling op de website van Stichting OE: http://youmeetoe.org/sociale-sculpturen/your-life-is-calling/

Agenda

April