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The projects and proposals for Rotterdam South


In cooperation with the Hart van Zuid organisation, SIR is realising projects with the artists Erik van Lieshout, Hendrik-Jan Hunneman, Ai Weiwei and Ken Lum.

Commission, a film by Erik van Lieshout
In 2010, Erik van Lieshout lived for three months in his shop in the Zuidplein shopping centre. He spoke with people, lived among the people of Zuidplein and filmed the place itself. The result is his film Commission. A sneak preview of the film was given in London at the beginning of 2011. It was very well received and discussed in The Guardian and other publications. After that, the film had its world premier at Theater Zuidplein in Rotterdam.
Erik van Lieshout’s original proposal
Van Lieshout wants to make a film that interweaves the story of his life as an international artist, living for many years in Rotterdam South, with the life and architecture of Zuidplein. Van Lieshout’s plan for his film is to work from Zuidplein, with a studio in the shopping centre where, if possible, he and other artists can hold film workshops. The film will be shown on (regional) television, on the internet, in museums and in presentations about Rotterdam South. An opportunity will also be sought to run the film continuously in a space on the square itself, in the shopping centre or in the bus station. Most of Van Lieshout’s film works incorporate a small cinema that he built himself.
Zuidplein as ‘The Sleeping Beauty’, by Hendrik-Jan Hunneman
On Zuidplein, virtually all the premises have plain frontages and contribute little or nothing to the creation of an attractive public square. Hendrik-Jan Hunneman was asked to think up a simple intervention that would literally and figuratively break open the square in advance of the coming demolition of the swimming bath and other buildings. Even in this opening phase, one can give a different twist to the square’s appearance.
The bus lane as a dragon’s tail, by Ai Weiwei
The bus lane in Rotterdam South is a splendid affair, occupying the centre of the square. It is a strange, modernist object that can be a challenge for an artist. Ai Weiwei, who is known for (among other things) his collaboration in the design of Herzog and de Meuron’s ‘bird’s nest’ stadium in Peking, came up with a plan for a temporary work of art for the bus lane: Dragon’s Tail.
Ken Lum: “I don’t want to feel so tired”, an allegory about the people living on Zuidplein
Overblown marketing language, which is the same in every redevelopment zone the world over, evokes a contrary response in a design by Ken Lum, in which personal lamentations can be seen in large letters on the sides of stationary lorries. Lum is well known in Rotterdam for his billboard in the centre, ‘Melly Shum hates her job’. Ken Lum’s proposal, which is still in the development stage, could piggyback with the various phases: the planning phase, the demolition and the various construction projects.
SIR Showcase
SIR is keen to install a showcase in the shopping centre with an alternating display of international works of art devoted to life in Rotterdam South, preferably in partnership with a museum or another art institute in Rotterdam.Topicality
In addition to this first move, SIR wants to build in the possibility to formulate new commissions and designs that appear relevant in the demolition and construction phases: bigger commissions and ‘lightning strikes’, such as performances and one-day campaigns, that are easy to realise but have great effect.Final Picture
Eventually, the ‘final picture’ will arrive: an exciting work of art, an icon of international fame for ZUIDPLEIN, which will define its identity as the HEART of the HART VAN ZUID.
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