Rotterdam Cultural Histories #2: Bik Van der Pol

This presentation and accompanying newspaper document Bik Van der Pol’s research into George Rickey’s kinetic sculpture Two Rectangles Vertical Gyratory (1971), and its history.

This second edition of Rotterdam Cultural Histories is presented in conjunction with up close (2014), a new work by Bik Van der Pol, produced as part of the group exhibition The Part In The Story Where A Part Becomes A Part Of Something Else, on view at Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art from 22 May – 17 August.

For this exhibition, the artists duo Bik Van der Pol decided to bring the sculpture Two Rectangles Vertical Gyratory (1971) by George Rickey, and install it in Witte de With’s exhibition space. This kinetic sculpture, normally installed on Rotterdam’s busy Binnenwegplein, has somewhat of a contested history. After recent renovations of the square causing an elevation of the ground, the blades of the sculpture rotated at a mere 2.11 meters above street level. The sculpture was hence considered a safety hazard because of the danger of it hitting the heads of passers-by. In prevention of any accidents, the sculpture was fenced off in 2012 and temporarily removed later that same year. Since then Sculpture International Rotterdam (SIR), to whose collection the sculpture belongs, and the Public Works Department have attempted to find a solution in close conversation with the estate of the artist, who passed away in 2002. With no concrete date set, the sculpture is now presented immobilized and in parts, awaiting its return to the public space.

Rotterdam Cultural Histories is a collaborative project between Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art and TENT that explores our common roots in Rotterdam and articulates meeting points between both of our programs. Rotterdam Cultural Histories is conceived by Defne Ayas (Director of Witte de With) and Mariette Dölle (Artistic Director, TENT).




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