At the same time, art in the city is under pressure: building housing has priority, and room for art becomes sparse, or so it sometimes seems. Pluk de Nacht’s art program aims to explore the idea of art in public space. To this end, we have invited five artists to create new work especially for the festival. These projects differ in nature, but what connects them is the playful view of what art can do in public space: the city as a playground. We hope that you, the visitor, will want to play along and think about the importance of art in the city.
The importance of art in public space
Caroline Ruijgrok and Sajoscha Talirz each make work on their own merits, but they also work together on art projects. Caroline works a lot with ceramics, loves the limitations and the possibilities that the material offers; Sajoscha is an all-rounder who doesn’t shy away from any kind of material. One of their joint projects is a sculpture for the Eendrachtspark in Amsterdam (on display from October this year). For Pluk de Kunst, the two artists are working on a project that playfully questions the idea of art in public space: sculptures that want to entice visitors to actually play with them. The title: New Pets. Caroline: ‘For us, this project is about the sensory experience in that public space; about how you move in relation to objects.’ This usually concerns objects that are primarily functional by nature, from park benches to fences. The function of art in public space is of a different order, according to Sajoscha, but no less important: ‘If all goes well, art in public space appeals to the imagination, and it also causes people to behave differently. in that space.’
The highly professional artist
Menzo Kircz is a theater maker. His projects and performances explore the boundaries between visual art and theatre. In it, the public is often invited to participate and give substance to the work. For Pluk de Kunst he will once again make the transition from theater to installation, by assuming the role of the highly professional artist. Who is that person and what does he or she need to survive in our world? He also wants to build something. ‘I want to make something vulnerable during Pluk de Nacht, something that is not permanent. A monument that is as fragile and vulnerable as the public space itself.’ In this project he also wants to see whether and how the public can be invited to participate and to contribute ideas. ‘Art in public space is a subject that is full of pitfalls, but the best way to discover these is of course to stumble into them.’
The longing for slowness
Simon Wald-Lasowski has a healthy fascination with the absurdity of everyday objects that, on closer inspection, may not be so mundane after all. He uses these existing objects to create new work, work that gives new meaning to the world around us; showing that sometimes our world is stranger than we see at first sight. Sometimes these are installations, sometimes sculptures, but he also takes photos and makes videos. For Pluk he developed a video work about his longing for a slower life. ‘During the pandemic I saw that everything was slowing down, I felt the slowness of everything, and because of that I had the hope that as a society we could also slow down a bit, that we don’t always have to run. That’s what this work is about: about how everything slowly fades away, about our understanding of time’. At the same time, with this work he wants to invite people to observe the world closely, perhaps to look at it differently. “I think by doing so you can see that there is art everywhere in the public space.”
The Wonderful World of Splitter Splatter
Splitter Splatter is the nom de plume of Amsterdam-based artist Iekeliene Stange. With her work she creates an ever-expanding universe of color, performance art, installations, sculptures, jewellery, drawings and music; in fact, no medium remains untapped to give that world shape and form. What this world exactly is, or even where it is located, is not so easy to explain. It could be a distant dream, but just as well an almost forgotten past. The artist herself looks at it this way: ‘I like to be inspired by the subconscious and the absurd. This is how shapes, music, totems and rituals are created. With these I build my own, intuitive world.’ A strange world, perhaps, but certainly one in which everyone is welcome. During Pluk de Nacht, Splitter Splatter temporarily brings her world to the festival site. Expect strangeness and start looking forward to a surreal journey.