Untitled (2016) | Henk Schut

High above the old steel beams at the back of the listed Scheepsbouwloods shipbuilding hangar, a small white neon illuminated sign is suspended, showing an ever-changing message: one moment it says ‘niets’ (‘nothing’), the next this changes to ‘iets’ (‘something’). This contradiction raises questions about the huge empty space in which the work is displayed. What exactly is meant by this: what is nothing, and what is something? Is it about the emptiness, is it waiting to be filled, to become something? Or does emptiness itself have a value?

In the face of the current manic construction all over Amsterdam, rapidly filling in empty spaces throughout the city, this artwork asks us to pause and consider the meaning of the empty space.

Untitled (iets/niets) is an initiative by Art City NDSM, made possible with support from Stichting Kinetisch Noord and Stichting NDSM-werf. With thanks to Bouwbedrijf Van Braam-Minnesma.