Indepth Arts News: |
"Bonnefantopia: Installation by Atelier van Lieshout"
2003-02-07 until 2004-01-01
In the spring of 2002, the Bonnefanten Museum acquired two electrically driven easy chairs with a mini bar (!) from the Atelier van Lieshout artists’ group. Last year, every visitor could experience how these multifunctional museum pieces made an ordinary museum visit into a surprisingly pleasant and relaxing event. It is not without pride that we would like to present the acquisition of BONNEFANTOPIA, the largest aquisition of a work by AVL by a museum to date. Specially developed for the museum’s domed hall, this work is, in fact, a Maastricht variant of Van Lieshout’s lauded Sportopia, which was shown during the São Paulo Biennial. BONNEFANTOPIA will be delivered on Thursday 6 and Friday 7 February next, in the presence of Joep van Lieshout, the creative brain behind AVL.
Bonnefantopia is a one-storey opened-out structure made from untreated wood, scaffolding materials and polished fibreglass housing several functions: toilet, shower, kitchen and luxury lounge bed with special lighting, music and spirits, a fitness room and an SM room. The structure as a whole is a cross between a living room for the contemporary hedonist and a location for erotic torture. Hanging, squatting and lying down throughout the structure are stylised polyester bodies reminiscent of both Henry Moore’s and Francis Bacon’s human figures.
The ‘DIY SM centre’ that Bonnefantopia actually represents fits in well with Van Lieshout’s objective of achieving an autarkic existence aimed at indulging in primary needs. It is his answer to our Western, overregulated, reason-based society – the esthetic and ethical neatness of the Netherlands. Living life as a free spirit in the Netherlands? That is only possible when you are a scrap merchant... or an artist.
A logical supplement to the installation is an ensemble of eleven works on paper, which can be considered a catalogue of opportunities within the Bonnefantopia. The deliberate clumsiness of the drawings (hand-coloured photocopies) converts the ‘DIY principle’ that is at the heart of Van Lieshout’s entire oeuvre into a high ‘I can do this too’ level.
The recalcitrant consumer art created by the Rotterdam group of artists called Atelier van Lieshout (AVL for short) has been in considerable demand among museums and other cultural institutes in the Netherlands and abroad. The mostly fibreglass objects, furniture, machines and luxury mobile living units are surprisingly ingenuous, multifunctional and intriguing in their form and content.
equipment, interiors, New work
wood, fiberglass, concrete, steel / stainless steel