Netherlands Patron Circle

Bik Van Der Pol‘Up Close’, 2014

In 2014 Outset Netherlands supported a new work by artist duo Bik Van der Pol commissioned by Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, for the group exhibition The Part In The Story Where A Part Becomes A Part Of Something Else. Works by more than forty artists from across the globe – including a strong contingent of Hong Kong-based artists, many of whom have never shown at Witte de With before – are gathered around key concepts, such as time, duration and space (Douglas Gordon, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, On Kawara), memory and inscription (Ang Song Ming, John Cage, Sharon Hayes), transformation (Bik Van der Pol, Nicolás Lamas), pleasure (Ivan Argote, Chu Yun, Willem de Rooij, Haegue Yang), and encounters (Lee Kit, Narcisse Tordoir).

For the exhibition The Part In The Story Bik Van der Pol decided to bring the sculpture Two Rectangles Vertical Gyrating (1971) 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 rotate 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 had passed away in 2002.

With no concrete date set, the sculpture is now presented immobilised and in parts, awaiting its return to the public space. Bik Van der Pol produced a newspaper with background information and archive material about Rickey’s sculpture.

Liesbeth Bik and Jos Van der Pol have worked collaboratively since 1995 as Bik Van der Pol. They live and work in Rotterdam. Bik Van der Pol explore the potential of art to produce and transmit knowledge. Their working method is based on co-operation and research methods of how to activate situations as to create a platform for various kinds of communicative activities. They often work on location, use, reuse and reactivate the work of others — be they from the world of art, journalism, media or history — and confront the visitors with situations in which they themselves have the last word. Recent work include the performances What if the moon were just a jump away? (2013), Biennale of Mercosul, Porto Alegre; Not all those who wander are lost (2013) Hoog Catherijne, Utrecht; the collaborative project Between A Rock and A Hard Place (2011) in Sudbury and the Frieze project accumulate, collect, show (2011) at the Frieze Art Fair, London. They are currently the course directors of the School of Missing Studies at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam.