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up close: Rickey sculpture on view at Witte de With


For the exhibition The Part In The Story Where A Part Becomes A Part Of Something Else, the artists duo Bik Van der Pol decided to bring the sculpture Two Turning Rectangles Vertical (1969), part of Sculpture International Rotterdam’s collection, by George Rickey, and install it laying down on the floor of the 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) and the Public Works Department have attempted to find a solution in close conversation with the estate of the artist, who had 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.

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