Thursday, October 01, 2015

Fucking Good Art Map Rotterdam 4.0

Art Map is free and can be found at various art spaces in Rotterdam.

Wow-factor, pop-ups, cultural entrepreneurship and festival terror, that’s Rotterdam! 55 festivals this year and the city is expecting approximately 1.5 million visitors. This is today’s interpretation of ‘mental resilience through cultural self-motivation’, which was the objective of the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds: rebuilding the war-torn cultural life of The Netherlands.

And what about Art?
This art map (version 4.0) lists currently active spaces or zones that support contemporary art, including 50 presentation spaces, 35 production spaces, 29 studio buildings, 6 art prizes and 4 bookshops.

Which cities support artists best? Is Rotterdam one of them? Conditions: 1. Affordable housing and studios 2. Decent public transport system 3. A supportive, international community 4. Art funding and residency programmes 5. Access to information and networks. 1 and 2: yes; 3, 4 and 5: not so sure?

The quantity of art spaces or ‘contact zones’ does not define the quality and liveliness of the art scene. The art does! People do! Perhaps there are too many spaces in relation to the number of people inhabiting the art scene. Often it is mainly artists that make up the audience; being members of the audience is their second professional unpaid job. Unfortunately zeitgeist-chasing curators, flamboyant scholars and the beau monde are hardly ever spotted.

Relative isolation is necessary to get some work done. Contact with and access to networks from outside is crucial for the survival and future of artists and a local art scene. Maybe the old cliché is true, and Rotter-dam is more a place for production than for presentation?

Rob Hamelijnck
September 2015
This map is sponsored by Festival Kunst in het Witte
de Withkwartier & Kunstblock
Rob Hamelijnck and Nienke Terpsma
Print: De Boog, Rotterdam 
Proofreading: Gerard Forde.
Creative Commons Attribution-Non commercial-No Derivative.