Witte de WithUp Close
Center for Contemporary Art
For the exhibition The Part In The Story Where A Part Becomes A Part Of Something Else (curated by Heman Chong) Bik Van der Pol brought the sculpture Two Rectangles Vertical Gyratory (1971) by George Rickey inside Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, and installed the two large panels in Witte de With’s exhibition space on the second floor.
This kinetic sculpture, normally installed on Rotterdam’s busy Binnenwegplein, has a contested history. After recent renovations of the square causing an elevation of the ground, the blades of the sculpture rotated at a mere 2.11 meters above street level. The sculpture was hence considered a safety hazard because of the danger of it hitting the heads of passers-by.
In prevention of any accidents, the sculpture was fenced off in 2012 and temporarily removed later that same year. Since then Sculpture International Rotterdam (SIR), to whose collection the sculpture belongs, and the Public Works Department have attempted to find a solution in close conversation with the estate of the artist, who passed away in 2002. With no concrete date set yet, the sculpture is now presented immobilized and in parts, awaiting its return to the public space.
In conjunction, and in collaboration with Rotterdam Cultural Histories (a collaborative project between Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art and TENT that explores the common roots of these two institutions in Rotterdam, and articulates meeting points between their programs), Bik Van der Pol produced a small archival exhibition (research in collaboration with Antje Guenther) and the newspaper-format publication Up Close (designed by Rick Vermeulen at Via Vermeulen).
in April 2016, the sculpture was re-installed in full glory at its original site at Binnenwegplein in Rotterdam, on a 55 cm higher base.
However, a few weeks later, the panels were severely damaged again: early in the morning the piece was hit by an unknown truck driver, leaving the piece in a state of total-loss. It is unsure, when or if, the piece will be able to be restored.