Motel Spatie Challening The Form and Notion of Public Art
Creative platform, Motel Spatie, from Arnhem in The Netherlands, is currently running the final week of their large interdisciplinary exhibition #beeldenpark_presikhaaf (picture park Presikhaaf), curated by Jeroen Jongeleen (aka Influenza). Atypical for the creative collective whose activity involves running an artist-in-residence program, a project space, and a large zinedepo, the showcase is somewhat of a retrospective of various public interventions in the outdoor area.
Strongly connected with their neighborhood of Presikhaaf where they are based since 2010, both in the sense of multiculturalism and history, they organized an atypical showcase whose aim is to engage the area around the show space and people living there. For #beeldenpark_presikhaaf, Motel Spatie invited in the past year a series of artists to respond to what this particular place was, is, and can be for art. This idea is directly continuing onto the practice of the show curator, Jeroen Jongeleen aka Influenza, whose work aims to "enliven the banality and sterility of the modern city" and "challenge the superficiality of urban design and the increasing colonization of the street."
Through a series of unexpecting, often hard to find interventions, distortions, additions, and removals, these artists investigate, play with, and repurpose the commonly controlled outdoor space and its elements. Questioning the position of art in the public space as well as its form, these works directly respond to the tribulations of the present time: commercialization, privatization, property laws, gentrification, and retreating governments. Some of the works and interventions include Jeroen Erosie's first steps in the field of sculpture, Adam Kraft's barricade-material-based furniture, Olivier Scheffer's guerilla pruning actions, Philippe van Wolputte's End Of the Line installation at a secret location, Marc van Elburg's Parasite art project, Influenza's unauthorized sculptural installations, etc.
This exhibition shows what has been and will remain hidden for the eyes of the everyday passer-by by such creatives as Adam Kraft (SE), Influenza (B), Jeroen Erosie, Phillipe van Wolputte (B), Marc van Elburg, Cäcilia Brown (Au), Urban Experiment (Fr) Joe Made This (D) La Mexicaine DePerforation (Fr), Stevphen Shukaitis, Biop, Kees Westervelt, Florian Cramer, Amy Suo Wu, Wilfried Hou Je Bek, Micha Leinkauf & Matthias Wermke, Libia Castro & Ólafur Ólafsson, Klara Liden, Adams & Itso, base80, Akim, Graphic Surgery, Rapid Publishers, Elejan van der Velde, and a handful of anonymous. —Sasha Bogojev