When you stroll around Amsterdam Old South this summer, you are bound to be confronted with some very unique, sometimes shocking works of art. The neighbourhood is transformed in an outdoor gallery of internationally renowned artists, showing off their work. All 60 sculptures/installations were hand picked by Henk van Os, former director of the Rijksmuseum. Some of the sculptures make you think, others really resonated with me, and naturally some I didn’t understand or didn’t like. The route is 2.4 km and runs across the Apollolaan, Zuidas, and Minervalaan. The ArtZuid International Sculpture Route lasts until 22 September 2013.
Exodus by Jem Robert Koko Bi (Ivory Coast) are wooden carvings of feet and refers to the enforced deportation during slavery and to the current swarms of emigrants.
El Anatsui (Ghana) created the drying towels and pants. The huge pants and towels are made from copper wire and alluminium bottle tops strung together. Amazing to see in real life! I wonder how many hours it took him and how many bottle tops.
Holy Land by Kader Atia (Algeria) is a field of reflective sculptures. As in most of his work he draws inspiration from his double cultural identity. The holy land refers to the promised land. The observer can watch himself while contemplating about the meaning. Now that is true reflection!
Mandela 27,000 pieces of life history by Jem Robert Koko Bi (Ivory Coast) tells the story of Mandela’s 27 years in prison. The artist took an unconventional approach in creating this sculpture. First he sawed timber into pieces, then he glued them back together to a massive shape. He used an electronic saw to give the bulky shape the facial features and used a torch to add the colour.
Judith by Markus Lupertz is a contemporary interpretation of the biblical Judith
Jonathan Meese (Germany) made the Humpty Dumpty Machine
Tom Sachs (USA) Miffy Fountain symbolizes the consumption society and branding of designer goods. The fountain is Miffy crying, which refers to the sadness of and protest against the commercialization of toys
A shocking sculpture but one with an interesting story. It symbolizes the current society of beauty and health expectations that is almost Utopian and fed by the many health clubs. Inside the skull is a spa and a small bathroom. A skull to remember us that we will all die anyway. Wellness skull by Joep Lieshout (Netherlands)
Elf rien a Foutre which means I don’t give a damn questions illegal oil tapping and smuggling. The jerrycans are from Elf, a Benin gasoline brand. The government and big oil companies attempt to stop this but the oil dissapears via illegal routes. by Romuald Hazoume