The work of Jenny Lindblom often plays with the associative power of quotes and tag lines. For GET LOST the Gerrit Rietveld Academie commissioned Lindblom to develop a work that reflected on the rich tradition of art in public space. And in particular in relation to the archive of the recently abolished art institution SKOR | Foundation for Art and Public Domain.
The park bench is a place where a person can relax and chill, where kids can hang out, snog and secretly smoke joints. It is a meeting point for quiet encounter and interaction. Lindblom decided to build it in marble, a precious material that reminds us of the grandeur of archetypical sculpture and architecture of the Antiquity and Renaissance but thereby also reflects on the development of art in public space today.
In the back of the bench, she engraved the words ‘Existence Light’ in a bright colour. ‘Existence Light’ is the name of the open source letter-font that SKOR used for all their communication. But in its idyllic surroundings this line may also lead to associations of more existential character.
Martin Kähler creates subtle, balanced installations using untreated, often massive materials such as rubble, debris and scrap metal. GET LOST commissioned Kähler to create a work at a building site where project developers Provast are currently building new houses. Excavations often disrupt the city: they are messy and ugly. Kähler is able to turn them into a jewel in the street, simultaneously raising questions about the creation of value and what is required to be able to experience beauty.
His life-size sculpture reflects the robustness of the materials kept at the terrain and symbolises the gradual transition from construction site to art. The composition of three leaning blocks of concrete held in balance by iron tubes seems to visually almost vanish into the surrounding and at the same time it enhances the aesthetic quality of the site. While the terrain changes in appearance from day to day during the summer, this flimsy installation is the stable factor.
The work of Suat Ögüt is often a humorous comment on matters of bureaucracy, jurisdiction and established power structures. He has developed work based on research into archives and journalistic sources that takes a closer, deeper look at specific subjects in a continuous narrative. Ögüt trained at Marmara University in Istanbul, where he studied classical sculpture and drawing. He employs this traditional monumental idiom to create works with a political and social message.
This is equally true of Ögüt’s project for Amsterdam’s law court. The Horse is Back is part of the Stolen Property Bureau series in which Ögüt examines art theft, particularly the theft of bronze statues. In 2012, the bronze horse made by Henk Göbel in 1983 was stolen from its plinth in the town of Dieren, Gelderland. A few months later, the police found it - cut into twenty-five pieces. As well as marking the return of the original horse to its original location, Ögüt’s bronze sculpture in front of the court is also a monument to the anonymous bronze thief and the remorse he felt when he realised the consequences of his crime.
Lennart Lahuis explores the excitement and suspense of visual effects in his work by experimenting with a range of often unconventional materials and pseudo-scientific techniques. For Silver Screen Hot Spot Lahuis uses luminous road paint and reflective materials designed for marking streets and for traffic signs. Diagonal lighting creates subtle graphic effects in the reflective materials. People’s perception of the installation is constantly changing, depending on how they pass through the tunnel.
The work’s title refers to the undesired side-effect of silver screens, a type of projection surface common in early cinemas and now again in vogue with the advent of three-dimensional films. A hot spot is an effect that is seen when the projected light hits the screen from a certain angle in relation to the position of the viewer’s eye. Traffic sign designers use the materials employed in this installation and exploit the same effect, so that their signs only illuminate when the light source, the material and the observer are aligned.
Aimée Zito Lema creates much of her work jointly with the communities involved. The way she developed her Mi Casa Es Tu Casa project for the garden of the G&S Vastgoed and ICON office block is an example of her collaborative approach. In her native language Spanish the word for ‘real estate’ translates into the term ‘bienes raices’, a highly potent phrase that actually means ‘property with roots’. We often associate a house with a fixed location and economic value, but from this Spanish etymological perspective the term opens up to a much broader association as an object that provides a sense of security and rootedness.
Exploring the theme further, Zito Lema wondered how people who have lost their home experience the sense of feeling at home. She interviewed nine refugees from different parts of the world and asked them what they had taken with them when they left their homeland. She created cement replicas of these objects and presented them as sculptures in the office inner garden.
The work of Bram de Jonghe radiates a certain poetic optimism, a romantic belief in progress reminiscent of the modernism of the early twentieth century. An aesthetic appreciation of the technology of machines that reveal on the outside exactly how they work inside, and yet still retain a magical effect. The beauty of the scientific balance in which everything can be explained, measured and rationalised.
This propensity for balance is also evident in the work that De Jonghe developed for G&S Vastgoed and ICON. The levitating spirit compass is a kind of metaphor of the equilibrium that exists in every situation, in each project or building. The spirit compass provides an almost hypnotic instance of clarity in which the impossible seems momentarily possible.
For Over and Under Hanae Wilke drew inspiration from the subtitle of GET LOST art route: Where the Sidewalk Ends. She often heard this poem by Shel Silverstein recited as a child growing up. Now, so many years later, rereading the poem took her back to her youth in suburban America and her memories of her own journeys of discovery as a child. Digging out a worm, finding a spider’s web, the view from the top branch of the fir tree that stood in the middle of the garden, as well as the blue jay and the scent of honeysuckle. A flood of memories of the insignificant - and yet so important - discoveries of a child that gradually vanish into the background on the path to adulthood.
Located in the green garden of Strawinsky house, the organic forms derived from intangible memories stand in sharp contrast with the structured character of Zuidas. Over and Under subtly connects the companies and the residents of the neighbourhood with the lush jungle of shrubs and roadside grass in which a child takes her first giant steps in discovering the world.
In Alice Ronchi’s sculpture and installations, everyday life - the life we understand through reason and logic - meets the world of invention and fantasy. Ronchi views the everyday objects around us with the eyes of a fascinated child. While we try to explain the world in rational terms, her videos and installations show us that fantasy is just as much a part of that world.
The apparent opposition of the rational and the imagined also features in the work that Ronchi created for the lobby of the new Nationale Postcode Loterij office in Amsterdam’s Zuidas. Set in an urban architectural environment, grass and earth are nourished by mineral substances drawn from the surrounding stones. Together, they form a perfect seedbed for a unique type of flower: the so-called pebble plant. Constructed with recurring identical concrete casts, the structure has a typical Ronchi association. The flowering stones become an exotic, imaginative addition, a symbol of the fertility of this urban landscape.
David Bernstein, Styrmir Örn Guðmundsson and Rosa Sijben created an audio companion for GET LOST in which they regard the exhibition from a unique perspective. In recent years, these young artists have developed an amazing style with which they take their audience on a scintillating yet always accessible tour of a world that floats between fact and fiction.
In this alternative Dreamland tour, the artists guide their audience in a quest to see all the GET LOST exhibits. As visitors wander along the ends of the sidewalk, a passionate love story unfolds involving a woman who lives in the future, a man who flits about in the past and their brief encounter in the departure lounge of the present. Dreamland is available as a download below. The numerically ordered audio tracks loosely correspond to the artworks on the route and can be listened to at one's own pace.