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Artist and writer Edgar Schmitz interviews Joep van Lieshout about Atelier Van Lieshout’s exhibition Infernopolis in the Submarine Wharf. Welcome and introduction: Saskia van Kampen, City Collection Curator and curator of Infernopolis. The interview will take place in the RDM Campus auditorium next to the Submarine Wharf.
Atelier Van Lieshout is inaugurating the Submarine Wharf with the spectacular exhibition Infernopolis. In the 5000m2 space Atelier Van Lieshout has created a terrifying setting in which medical instruments, vacuum pumps, silos, skulls, skeletons, and giant sperm cells and bodily organs are the main protagonists. Two enormous installations, ‘The Technocrat’ and ‘Cradle to Cradle’, are installed amid a forest of existing and new sculptures. At 'Infernopolis' you can move among sinister installations and tableaux in which the distinctions between good and evil, life and death, and reality and fiction are erased. Atelier Van Lieshout’s fascination with systems is clearly manifest in the art work The Technocrat (2003-2004), which comprises all manner of apparatus, containers, beds and distillation vats. Together they form a closed circuit of food, alcohol, excrement and energy. Cradle to Cradle (2009) takes the principle that human waste can be food to the extreme. Looking at this art work, it quickly becomes clear that this machine recycles everything, even people..
Joep van Lieshout (1963, Ravenstein) lives and works in Rotterdam. Since the eighties he produces objects in polyester, the material that would become his trademark in subsequent years. In 1995 he founded Atelier Van Lieshout, undermining the myth of the individual artistic genius. Atelier Van Lieshout has attained international recognition for objects that occupy the middle ground between art, architecture and design.
Edgar Schmitz is an artist based in London. He is the co-director of A Conversation in ManyParts, an international discursive platform for contemporary art and concepts, and a lecturer at Goldsmiths, London. He has contributed to Kunstforum international, Texte zur Kunst and Artforum international as well as contemporary and tema celeste a.o., and has published numerous catalogue essays on contemporary art, including texts on the melodramatic in Rainer Werner Fassbinder andPhil Collins, the monstrous in Brian Jungen’s animalities, stuff in Michael Craig-Martin and Sarah Morris’ LA. His essay ‘Traps against Capture’ on humour and some works by Andreas Slominski is forthcoming in Deleuze and Contemporary Art at Edinburgh University Press. He is currently working on a book on Ambient Attitudes and Escapist Criticality.
For more information about the Submarine Wharf, the exhibition, practical information, visit: http://www.submarinewharf.com