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Intervention #7 Apollo Olaf Nicolai and Thonik

from September 27 2008 until August 23 2009

Apollo Olaf Nicolai and Thonik (floor painting), 2008. Photo Maurice Boyer

With Apollo, Olaf Nicolai has created a sculpture in the museum courtyard that is also a podium for performances. The circular, half-open pavilion forms the setting for a potential football arena, where the players’ movements are reflected in the mirrors that shoot up at regular intervals around the red playing field and generate a strobe-like effect. Studio Thonik, who designed the museum’s house style, has collaborated with Olaf Nicolai to redesign the floor of the courtyard to complement Apollo.

In classical mythology, Apollo was the God of light and the arts. Nicolai’s Apollo in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s courtyard is also a platform for ‘wannabe’ Apollos. Anyone entering the arena is bathed in the radiant aura of the mirrored pavilion during their performance and almost consecrated by the aestheticised motion dynamic. The work is one of a series of sculptures by Nicolai with an architectural background that can also be entered into, which marks a connection with the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s collection, in particular Bruce Nauman’s ‘Double Steel Cage Piece’ (1974).
This intervention has been realised in association with H&F Patronage.

The museum is giving contemporary art a prominent place in its new displays in the form of three artist’s presentations that reflect upon the collection and the building. These visual statements are intensified through alternation with works from the permanent collection, establishing a dialogue that heightens the senses and encourages contemplation. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen has an active programme of exhibiting and responding to leading international artists.