Dutch Art Institute

Ruffles and Fray
Art interventions for the Zuidas

A collaboration of the Research Group Art in Public Space in Amsterdam (www.lkpr.nl), the Dutch Art Institute and the Sandberg Institute.
The aim of the project is to develop and produce temporary work in the Zuidas in Amsterdam to contribute diverging positions of the art and the artists to the vision of the area. As the area has the image of a slick and smooth business zone, there is urgent need to show different views, to de-gentrify, to add ruffles and fray to that seemingly smooth image.

We connect ourselves to the event Amsterdam Bright City, www.zuidas-abc.nl a one-day event on June 4, 2008. Amsterdam Bright City was initiated by the ABN Amro and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam to promote the Zuidas as an “international, multicultural centre of knowledge and business services”.

The Zuidas in Amsterdam is the main hotspot of the global marketplace of business and finance in the Netherlands. The development of the Zuidas started in the 1990s and is projected to be finished in 2030. Currently it is in a state of constant change – in between the vision expressed in the language of the promotional brochures, the emerging steel-and-glass office architecture of the banks and law firms and the daily reality of the employees. How public – or rather private – the open space in between the buildings is, still needs to be established and will be one of our working questions.

Since the beginning the Research Group Art in Public Space accompanied the development and tried to define the role of art and worked to create space for art in the area. We will draw heavily from the knowledge and experience gathered in these earlier studies, symposia and projects initiated and conducted by the Research Group.
In that way we try to avoid getting stuck in the apparent incongruities of the Zuidas – the contrast between the values and ideas expressed in the vague language of the developers and what a real city might mean – and we will try to get a step further and address the situation as it presents itself in this moment.

The project will partly take place in Amsterdam on the Zuidas, where we will be guests of the Research Group and the Sandberg Institute and partly at the Dutch Art Institute in Enschede. The project will be prepared and accompanied with lectures, visits to the area and visits to artists involved in earlier art projects.

(FG - 02/09)

Ruffles and Fray: Software at Zuidas; June 4 2009