NDSM-werf will host Ferrotopia
The impressive work ‘Ferrotopia’, an art installation by Atelier Van Lieshout, will be on display at the NDSM-werf in Amsterdam-Noord for eight months starting next spring.
Ferrotopia is a public art installation, Gesamtkunstwerk and pop-up museum all in one. The piece celebrates the beauty of steel and examines the past, present and future of the NDSM-werf. It consists of a collection of characteristic buildings grouped around a central square. Components of the installation were previously on display at the Ruhrtriennale in Bochum (Germany) for the past three years and at Centre Pompidou in Paris (France) last summer. These are the iconic ‘Domestikator’ and the atmospheric exhibition space ‘de Refter’. An entirely new component was created for the work’s appearance at the NDSM-werf: the Valhamerhuis, a place for destruction and recycling. The ensemble is completed with the unique ‘Happy Gietloods’, a fully equipped and ready-to-use metalworking shop, smithy and foundry.
With Ferrotopia as the backdrop, a programme featuring fine art, design, theatre, film, music and lectures will unfold, bringing together nostalgia for the industrial heritage with the rediscovery of crafts and circular economy. This programme is being developed in cooperation with partners including Over ‘t IJ festival, Partizan Publik, MU Eindhoven, EYE Filmmuseum and Atelier Van Lieshout and will be aligned with various activities and events at the former shipyard.
Attention to making
‘As the large-scale manufacturing industry increasingly disappears from our immediate surroundings, we simultaneously lose our knowledge of materials and how things are made’, says curator Rieke Vos from Stichting NDSM-werf. The educational programme accompanying Ferrotopia is a response to this, offering a wide variety of activities that allow the public to actively participate in a world of crafts, iron and other types of metal. What makes this programme unique is how it is entirely designed around the interest in and exploration of the material itself: ‘ferro’ or iron and the place it occupies in our lives and our society.
New Tribal Labyrinth
Atelier Van Lieshout (AVL) is the studio established in 1995 by sculptor Joep van Lieshout in Rotterdam. The Ferrotopia project is the final piece in ‘New Tribal Labyrinth’, a project spanning seven years. The series of artworks produced as part of this project can be seen as a reinterpretation of the factories and machines of the Industrial Revolution and a re-evaluation of our relationship with raw materials and equipment. It also serves as a rediscovery of rudimentary manufacturing techniques such as casting, refining, loom weaving and brick kiln firing. From the NDSM-werf perspective, Ferrotopia also serves to bring the history of the Nederlandsche Dok en Scheepsbouw Maatschappij (Netherlands dock and shipbuilding company – NDSM) to life.
Domestikator reflects on the way humans cultivate and domesticate the world by applying their ingenuity and creativity, yet how at the same time they challenge ethical and real borders by new technologies. With the artwork, artist Joep van Lieshout wants to start a dialogue about these positive and negative forces, while playfully addressing one of the last few remaining hypocritical taboos.
-Atelier Van Lieshout
Stichting NDSM-werf directs, initiates, curates, connects and encourages cultural activities at the NDSM-werf in anticipation of the proposed urban development in the area. Curator Rieke Vos developed the Ferrotopia project on behalf of Stichting NDSM-werf. The project is funded by the City of Amsterdam, the Mondriaan Fund, the urban district of Amsterdam-Noord and the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts.