Let’s Get Physical
Take a wander through an alternative utopia.
AVL Mundo’s Sculpture Park, Keileweg 18, 3029 BS Rotterdam, the Netherlands
18th July – 4th October 2020
TO CELEBRATE OUR new freedom to move about the world, after weeks of lockdown, Atelier Van Lieshout has launched an outdoor sculpture exhibition, Let’s Get Physical. Over thirty sculptures created by the studio have been placed in 13 locations throughout the industrial Merwe-Vierhaven area in the west of Rotterdam (M4H), with visitors given a map to encourage them to seek them out.
Artist Joep van Lieshout has been a pioneer in this formerly derelict area, setting up his studio here in the 1980s and continually expanding and fostering projects in a district that is now thriving with culture, design and technology innovators. In 2001, van Lieshout drew international attention with his project AVL-Ville, the declaration of a self-sustaining independent state in the port of Rotterdam for a year. AVL-Ville had its own flag, constitution, currency, hospital, workshop for weapons and bombs, farm and slaughterhouse, alcohol production, and homes. Let’s Get Physical aims again to entice audiences to engage with M4H, through AVL’s playful, provocative and politically charged installations.
The trail starts at the AVL headquarters, AVL Mundo Sculpture Park. Here stand ‘The Technocrat’ (2003), a model for a complex closed circuit of food, alcohol, excrement and energy, in which mankind’s waste (and man himself) is used as the raw material for the production of biogas, as well as ‘Alcoholator’ (2004), a sculpture which offers to produce thousands of litres of liquor every day to keep docile citizens happy. ‘Milkman’ (2015) can be seen at the ‘Floating Farm’, the world’s first waterborne home for cows and ‘The Sower’ (2018) stands in the Voedseltuin, a foundation that grows organic fruit and vegetables for Rotterdam’s food bank. The new sculpture ‘Utopia’ (2020), a prototype robot-warrior, guards one of M4H’s entrances. You can find additional works in dialogue with their locations at Weelde, Keilecafé, Keilepand, Keilewerf, Stichting Dakpark, The Lee Towers, CrossFit Nultien and several publicly accessible venues.
What better way to engage with AVL’s themes – broadly, the individual against the system – communicated with cheerful cynicism, than here?