Every night from 8 January to 9 February 2014, Rotterdam's Coolsingel is transformed into an outdoor cinema. On the walls and in the windows of shops and empty buildings, short films by internationally renowned video artists will be shown. The exhibition, 'Tribute To An Avenue', is an ode to the most discussed street in Rotterdam and lays bare its quiet strength. The exhibition can be seen every night from sunset to sunrise.
Works by: Francis Alÿs (BE), Fischli & Weiss (CH), Arnoud Holleman (NL), Han Hoogerbrugge (NL), Klara Liden (S), Erik van Lieshout (NL), Mark Lewis (CA), Adrian Paci (AL), John Smith (UK), Song Tao (CH), Catherine Yass (UK).
With its upcoming restructuring, another new chapter will be added to the Coolsingel's rich history of transformations. Sculpture International Rotterdam adds a layer of art to this fascinating 'lasagne': different perspectives from which the Coolsingel and the public domain can be viewed.
Tribute To An Avenue is also an exhibition set amidst masterpieces from the collection of Sculpture International Rotterdam: sculptures such as Cascade (Van Lieshout), Naum Gabo's construction for the Bijenkorf, and It's Never Too Late To Say Sorry (Elmgreen & Dragset). Visitors can walk along and view the films at their leisure, and see how the poetic and humorous commentaries or the alienating images are interwoven into the boulevard's everyday life. For example, the film 4.7G-01 (Three Days Ago) by Chinese artist Song Tao displayed on the windows of the Hilton Hotel, takes you on a nocturnal voyage of discovery through Shanghai. Atmospheric and sometimes ghostly images of buildings, a highway, a tunnel, a child playing hopscotch, and a lone passer-by are all gracefully interwoven in the unnatural light of street lamps.
A little further along, playing above the windows of the John Edward sewing shop, is the animation Dow Jones by the Rotterdam artist Han Hoogerbrugge. Central characters from animation history, such as Betty Boop, Mickey Mouse, and Fred Flintstone, endlessly pursue each other without making progress. In this location, the animation evokes the annual Rotterdam Marathon, which starts on the Coolsingel. On the WTC's walls on the Meent, is Catherine Yass's vertical choreography of a skyscraper under construction in the fog.
The puppet booth on the border of Binnenwegplein and Coolsingel is the ideal place for 'The Girl Chewing Gum', a 16 mm film made by the British artist John Smith in 1976, in which everyday life on a busy London street is apparently choreographed by an off-screen director. Soon you begin to wonder, who actually defines public space?
The films in Tribute To An Avenue enter into a dialogue with the
history, the present, and the uncertain future of the Coolsingel as it
prepares for a new restructuring. The exhibition raises questions such
as: who makes the city? Who forms public space? Can the public be
directed in the creation of public space or does the public direct the
On Friday 17, 24, 31 January, and 7 February, there are special tours along the works. These take place in the afternoon, at night, and in the early morning. Depending on the time, surrounding shops and restaurants are also part of the tours, not to mention the masterpieces of the existing Sculpture International Rotterdam collection.
Films and locations
1. Hilton: Song Tao, ‘4.7G-01 (Three Days Ago)’
2. Hilton: Klara Liden, ‘Paralyzed’
3. MAB Bouwput: Adrian Paci, ‘Turn On’
4. Stadhuis: Fischli & Weiss, ‘Der Rechte Weg’
5. Gulden Interieur: Mark Lewis, ‘Gladwell’s Picture Window’
6. De Slegte: Arnoud Holleman, ‘Untitled (Staphorst)’
7. De Slegte: Francis Alys, ‘Paradox of the Praxis 1 (Sometimes doing something leads to nothing)’
8. MacDonalds: Erik van Lieshout, ‘EMMDM’
9. WTC: Catherine Yass, ‘Descent’
10. John Edwards: Han Hoogerbrugge, ‘Dow Jones II’
11. Bijenkorf: Coolsingel Archief
12. C&A: Mark Lewis, ‘Beirut’
13. De Poppenkast, John Smith, ‘The Girl Chewing Gum’
Dates: 8 January - 9 February 2014
Times: nightly from sunset to sunrise
Locations: Coolsingel, Rotterdam
This exhibition was initiated and curated by Sculpture International Rotterdam (Dees Linders, Jaap Guldemond, Jos van der Pol) – part of the Rotterdam Centre for Contemporary Art – along with guest curator Laurie Cluitmans. It is part of the long-term project, PUBLIC of SIR, which focuses on the Coolsingel in Rotterdam.
Press and publicity: Elsbeth Grievink (06-48266077 / firstname.lastname@example.org)
Communications: Xandra Nibbeling, CBK Rotterdam
Translations: Jason Coburn
Production: Laurie Cluitmans and Dees Linders, AVR, Machiel Kunst, Mothership, Sannetje van Haarst (SIR)
SIR is the International program Art and Public Space of CBK Rotterdam