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New gift for Boijmans
25 March 2014
A gigantic artwork consisting of hundreds of components has been donated to Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and the city of Rotterdam this week. The private collector bought the imposing John Bock installation with the intention of giving it to a museum. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is the lucky recipient.
The German artist John Bock (Itzehoe, 1965) is known for his surreal installations incorporating a wide range of objects and materials. The post-apocalyptic spaceship with several rooms containing the most diverse items – from noodles to a chessboard – shows the entire contents of the artist’s house at the time the installation was made. This week the almost-8-metre-high installation was given to Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen by private collector Bert Kreuk because he wishes to share it with a larger audience and because it fits perfectly within the museum’s collection. The work has been on loan to the museum since 2012, after being shown in the exhibition ‘New Energy in Design and Art’. The museum’s collection already contains two video works by John Bock.
The artwork ‘Curve-Car with π-Man’ was made for the Curve, one of the exhibition spaces at the Barbican Centre in London. Bock transformed a London taxi into a mobile sculpture that docks at various satellite capsules moving around the space. Each capsule contains a different ‘business’: a bar, a noodle restaurant and a shop, forming a kind of utopian ‘plug-in city’. The screen shows images from Bock’s performance at the Barbican Centre. The performance and the installation are an absurdist representation of our struggle to survive in a changing world.
Bert Kreuk has previously given several large artworks on long-term loan to Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, including the ‘Baroque Egg’ by Jeff Koons on display in the entrance area. About his recent gift, Kreuk says: ‘With certain purchases you know in advance that it belongs in a museum. However, few museums can now afford these sorts of works. By buying this installation by John Bock and donating it to a museum, I can ensure that a broader public can enjoy an artwork that would otherwise be accessible only to me. And what is the joy in that? The more I collect, the more I realise that I can’t hang everything on my own walls and that it is good to share my works with a museum in whose collection it fits perfectly. Making donations is also a way for me to re-orient my collection and to give something back to the art world.”
Mirrored art storage facility
This installation will have a permanent place in the new Collections Building that the museum plans to build together with the City of Rotterdam and the Verre Bergen Foundation. If the plans are approved later this year, the Collections Building will open to the public in the Museumpark in 2017. The design by Rotterdam-based architects MVRDV has attracted international media attention.
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