The Individual Parallel – Bilderberg Utopia (2014), foto Jannes Linders
Mini-symposium and formal reveal of
On 23 September 2014, a new, monumental artwork on the facade of the Bilderberg Parkhotel in Rotterdam was revealed by mayor Aboutaleb. The work, a grid consisting of 624 dots that light up subtly in the dark, was created by Dutch artist Willem Oorebeek. The work Individual Parallel – Bilderberg Utopia has been added to the collection of Sculpture International Rotterdam (SIR), and was commissioned by SIR and BKOR (Beeldende Kunst & Openbare Ruimte, the program for Art in Public Space in Rotterdam). The project was supported by the Mondriaan Fund and the city of Rotterdam.
The Parkhotel is located at an important infrastructural junction in Rotterdam: it connects the Westersingel, which runs from Central Station to the Maas river, and Blaak – a road connecting the East to the West of the city. For Oorebeek, it was this location, on these connecting roads, that transforms the Bilderberg Parkhotel into a beacon; a fact which Oorebeek decided to stress by adding his famous dotted pattern to the facade, in a material (composite) that subtly reflects light in the dark.
On 23 September, Willem Oorebeek, together with mayor Aboutaleb, attached the last dot to the wall, completing the artwork in the presence of the hotel’s management and a gathered audience. For the hotel, it marked the re-opening of their refurbished rooms, lounge and bar, and their new restaurant.
The formal reveal was preceded by a small symposium around Oorebeek’s new work, hosted by SIR and BKOR. After a brief essay by Jeroen Boomgaard (Laps, Rietveld Academie) on art in (Rotterdam’s) public space, Oorebeek himself presented some of his central concepts on the work. Saskia van Stein (artistic director NAiM/Bureau Europa) also spoke to the artist about the role of his new work in his oeuvre.
Willem Oorebeek lives and works in Brussels, Belgium. He’s involved in art education projects in the Netherlands, Belgium and Austria, and is closely engaged with the contemporary discourse on art education and perception. Oorebeek’s werk is often based on the tension between the private and the public. His work speaks to multiple generations of artists in Rotterdam. His work is included in collections of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen; Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; Generali Foundation Vienna; Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent; Collectie De Nederlandse Bank, and is presented in exhibitions worldwide.
Z-Files, Art and the City is a series of events organized by SIR and BKOR (the Art & Public Space program at CBK Rotterdam) that presents art, public space, and Rotterdam through lectures, workshops and excursions. The Z-Files series is organized to highlight and promote the artworks in Rotterdam’s public space, and to explore developments in contemporary art in public space.