Bijlmer Years 1989-1997, Koningshoef 6, photo 19, collab Thérèse Zoekende, h120 x w120 cm, pinhole photograph on lightbox

Ode to the Bijlmer

Exhibition: Ode To The Bijlmer

Opening: September 8 (15:00): CBK-Southeast

Ode To The Bijlmer can be visited from September 8 to October 20, 2018.

The Bijlmer will be 50 years old in 2018. CBK Southeast is developing a group exhibition “Ode To The Bijlmer” with 11 artists. In the exhibition the artists reflect in their work on the urban development of the Bijlmer and the current reforms. Over the years there has been a lot of attention for the Bijlmer, especially about everything that went wrong. The neighborhood that was seen as “the city of the future” upon completion was already partially demolished after 25 years. Siegfried Nassuth’s utopian urban plan was dismissed as a major failure. Bijlmer had and still has a stigma, especially for people who have never been there.

Urban Renewal

In the meantime, this district has existed for half a century already. All that time it has been inhabited, played, lived and worked. A third generation of children is growing up. Flats have been demolished and flats have been thoroughly renovated. An urban plan has drastically changed and construction is still going on; the district is still developing. The artists in the exhibition Ode To The Bijlmer show the Bijlmer as a monument, as urban renewal, as utopia, as special and different or as youth sentiment. Common thread in the exhibition is an autonomous visual translation of a positive experience with this neighborhood.

Bijlmer Years 1989-1997

For the exhibition ‘Ode aan de Bijlmer’ in CBK Zuidoost, I made the work ‘Bijlmer Years 1989-1997’. It is a collaboration project with visual artist Thérèse Zoekende, in which we bring our shared Bijlmer past to life in a confidential picture story. Twenty-nine years ago, as Rietveld students, we came to live in this urban district. We were forced to leave nine years later due to urban renewal. Project “Bijlmer Years 1989-1997” is a mixed media installation consisting of videos with sound, photos and light boxes that shows the Bijlmer in its authentic state.

Honeycomb flat Koningshoef

Our house in the honeycomb flat Koningshoef in the K-neighborhood plays an important central role in the creation of the images in the exhibition. Koningshoef was the largest Bijlmer apartment with 525 houses. We lived on the corner, three high at number six. Our home was our lookout point, we photographed views in different directions and at different seasons. The home was often the starting point for the videos. Koningshoef and large parts of the K-neighborhood have since been demolished and changed beyond recognition.

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