Joep van Lieshout
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Maurizio Cattelan: a striking portrait
Maurizio Cattelan (1960) made this self-portrait in 2002. A hole was made in the floor of the museum hall specially for this installation. With this, Cattelan breaks down the foundations of the museum, both literally and figuratively. The artist enjoys making fun of the museum as an institution. His works explore the borders between legal and illegal, responsible and immoral. In 2002, he exhibited a kneeling figure in Museum Boijmans van Beuningen of Hitler praying. This gave rise to enormous controversy: exactly Cattelan’s intention.
Atelier van Lieshout (AVL)
Joep van Lieshout (Ravenstein, 1963) studied at the Academy of Visual Arts in Rotterdam, the post-academy Ateliers 63 and La Villa Arson in Nice (France). In 1995 he started Atelier Van Lieshout (AVL), where a team of around 20 artists work on architecture, design and contemporary art projects. The projects by AVL have won countless art awards. The most striking project may be AVL Ville. In 2001, a self-providing free street was created in the harbour area of Rotterdam, where artists lived, built and produced things together. Joep van Lieshout has been working with polyester since the eighties. It has become his trademark and is used, for example, in the sculpture Biopik.
Infernopolis in the Onderzeebootloods [Submarine wharf]
The exhibition Infernopolis deals with themes such as autonomy, self-provision, power and economy. In the Onderzeebootloods [Submarine wharf], an enormous shed covering almost 5000 m2 in the harbour of Rotterdam, Atelier Van Lieshout is exhibiting two room-filling artworks and a forest of sculptures. Together, these elements create a chilling setting. Infernopolis - a reference to the inferno (hell) and the metropolis - shows the blurring of the difference between man and machine.
Joep van Lieshout is level-headed enough to look the consequences in the eye: a rational and regulated society such as ours ultimately chooses a similar solution for overpopulation as a rat colony based purely on intuition. You eat each other. In this interview, Van Lieshout talks, using a model, about his exhibition Infernopolis, what the options for selecting people for recycling are and how that selection - who will be recycled as what - could take place. A chilling model? Maybe, but human beings are the only species that worry about the fact that they will die in the end.
This interview is a compilation of an interview with Carsten Höller in Boijmans TV (episode 1: opening night), which he gave on the occasion of his exhibition Infernopolis in the Submarine Wharf (May 29 -September 27 2010). The interview is supplemented with material which could not, for time constraints, be included in the television programme.