Overtreders W designed shippingcontainers out of textiles for the exhibition Portscapes at MuseumBoijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam.
The exhibition Portscapes was theculmination of a year-long cultural project that invited Dutch andinternational artists to reflect on Maasvlakte 2, the extension ofRotterdam’s harbour. Underway since 2008, the extension willincrease Europe’s largest harbour by 20%, enlarging The Netherlandsby 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 wasto create a physical intervention in the space (Richard Serra Hall)as a basis for the artworks, many of which included visuals andsound. Shipping containers, iconic symbols of the harbour, werefashioned out of fabric to provide an intimate backdrop forexperiencing each artwork. Constructed from textiles with differingtransparencies – voile, cotton and cheesecloth – the containerspainted an illusory image of the docklands in reference to a harbourthat’s not yet built. The textiles gave a glimpse into the contentsof the ubiquitous metal boxes which normally otherwise remain amystery. Texts for each artwork were printed onto cotton labels andstitched onto the containers. Through the play of transparencies -suggesting ships moving through a fog-filled harbour - the exhibitionslowly revealed itself.
Connecting the different containers andartworks, rough textured black floor tiles – inspired by basalttiles often found in harbours - guided visitors through theexhibition.
The project was commissioned andsupported by the Port of Rotterdam Authority and SKOR (Foundation Artand Public Space). The artists were invited by Latitudes curatorialoffice.