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Portscapes

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  • Portscapes
    Exhibition design for museum Boijmans van Beuningen
  • Overtreders W designed shipping containers out of textiles for the exhibition Portscapes at Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam.

     The exhibition Portscapes was the culmination of a year-long cultural project that invited Dutch and international artists to reflect on Maasvlakte 2, the extension of Rotterdam’s harbour. Underway since 2008, the extension will increase Europe’s largest harbour by 20%, enlarging The Netherlands by 2000 hectares. The resultant artworks included photography, performance, videos, sound installations and even a newspaper.

     For the design of the exhibition, Overtreders W looked to the harbour for inspiration. The concept was to create a physical intervention in the space (Richard Serra Hall) as a basis for the artworks, many of which included visuals and sound. Shipping containers, iconic symbols of the harbour, were fashioned out of fabric to provide an intimate backdrop for experiencing each artwork. Constructed from textiles with differing transparencies – voile, cotton and cheesecloth – the containers painted an illusory image of the docklands in reference to a harbour that’s not yet built. The textiles gave a glimpse into the contents of the ubiquitous metal boxes which normally otherwise remain a mystery. Texts for each artwork were printed onto cotton labels and stitched onto the containers. Through the play of transparencies - suggesting ships moving through a fog-filled harbour - the exhibition slowly revealed itself.

     Connecting the different containers and artworks, rough textured black floor tiles – inspired by basalt tiles often found in harbours - guided visitors through the exhibition.

     The project was commissioned and supported by the Port of Rotterdam Authority and SKOR (Foundation Art and Public Space). The artists were invited by Latitudes curatorial office.
  • Portscapes exhibition in the Richard Serra Hall at Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands