The summer of Boijmans
June 2012

Unique installation

On Saturday 2 June the Submarine Wharf opens its doors again in Rotterdamís docklands. The 5000m2 multimedia installation ĎBalladsí by Sarkis promises an extraordinary experience.

Sarkis. Photo: Tot en met ontwerpen
Sarkis. Photo: Tot en met ontwerpen

Sarkis (1938) is an artist in the lineage of Joseph Beuys who loves to bring together different times, cultures, disciplines and people. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and the Port of Rotterdam have commissioned him to make a multimedia installation specially for the Submarine Wharf. He has taken his inspiration from the location, the building’s former function and the surrounding environment of the harbour. Water and sky play an important role in the installation.

Read more about 'Ballads' at

Sarkis is especially well known in France, where he had a solo exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in 2010. He is currently exhibiting an installation at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris.
Here you can watch a short video made for the exhibition ‘Passages’ at the Centre Pompidou in 2010: an encounter with Sarkis in his studio in Paris.
In 2011 Sarkis had a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Geneva, entitled ‘Hotel Sarkis’.

Sarkis in the museum
To coincide with the exhibition in Rotterdam’s docklands there is also a display of new work by Sarkis in the museum. From Saturday 2 June the museum is exhibiting his 96 watercolours based on the score of ‘Ryoanji’ by American composer John Cage (1912-1992), inspired by an ancient Japanese rock garden in Kyoto. The display is accompanied by specially commissioned film about Sarkis and the construction of ‘Ballads’ in the Submarine Wharf. You can also watch the film on the museum’s online video channel from June.

The Port of Rotterdam
The Port of Rotterdam and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen have formed a five-year partnership to present contemporary art exhibitions in the Submarine Wharf, measuring nearly 5000m2. The Submarine Wharf is one of the Port of Rotterdam’s initiatives to bring a broader public in contact with the harbour and to improve the experience of the docklands.

Click here for the programme of the festive opening on Saturday 2 June.

Invite friends and family to visit the Submarine Wharf with an e-card.