The Amsterdam North-South metro Line was inaugurated in July 2018 by mayor Femke Halsema. The next day, Metro 52, with eight monumental art works was open to the public. At the inauguration, the (international) press talked about an ‘underground gesamtkunstwerk’ and an ‘underground museum’.
In 2019, the project led by QKunst received a CODA Merit Award, a yearly international award for projects that best integrate art in public spaces. Working from home more often means means less commuting and thus less people enjoying the art.
Therefore, we happily make use of the birthday of the North-South metro Line highlighting the eight artworks and involved artists on our Instragram account this week: @qkunst_. Read an update on the artists’ recent activities below.
Harmen Liemburg (1966), who made the work Flyways (2018) for Station Noord, has made more public artworks since then, such as Böcke & Bären from 2019 in the Swiss mountain village Tschlin, canton of Graubünden. Liemburg designed a virtual sgrafitto that can be seen through a tablet and smartphone. In his design, Liemburg mixed elements of municipal and cantonal coats of arm with the visual language of traffic signs and commercial logo’s.
Artist duo Persijn Broersen (1974) and Margit Lukács (1973) made the work De 7 poorten (the 7 gates) (2018) for Station Noorderpark. Recently the book Voor de gek, (Gotcha!) was published, in which pjotographer Edith Gerritsma and journalist Andrea Hijmans incorporated the artwork as one of 150 follies in the Netherlands.
There are two artworks at Amsterdam Central Station: one in the distribution hall and one in the central hall of the North/South line. Both art locations are situated directly above each other and under the façade designed by Cuypers. As of recently, Jennifer Tee’s (1973) work encloses the breakthrough to the train station’s monumental hall designed by Cuypers.
Tee’s Tulip Palepai regularly pops up on Instagram and was added as a ‘Gouden Pronkstuk’ (golden showpiece) of this year’s online museum week by vlogger Jip Heijmerink. Check out her video on @mydailyshotofculture. In recent years, Tee further developed her tulip collages but also designed the ‘Marktmozaïek’ (market mosaic) for the Vredenburg square in Utrecht and a glass window for the monumental chapel of Museum van de Geest/Dolhuys Haarlem together with Jonas Ohlsson. See teeteetee.nl
For the monumental metro hal of the central station, Belgian artist David Claerbout (1969) created the digital work Weather engine (2018). Claerbout’s newest work, Aircraft (FAL), premiered in museum De Pont this spring. The work can be viewed until 28 November, together with Claerbout’s video works, drawings and storyboards that the museum has been collecting since 2005.
The artwork on the 120 metres long platform walls of Station Rokin is by Daniel Dewar (Forest of Dean, GB, 1976) and Grégory Gicquel (St. Brieuc, FR, 1975). Selfies with a ‘handheld’ umbrella or teapot regularly pop up on Instagram since the metro has been in use. As of recently, new work by Dewar & Gicquel can be viewed at Port Saint-Nazaire (FR) with a title as striking as the one at Rokin: ‘Le Pied, le Pull-over et le Systeme digestif’ (the foot, the jumper and the digestive system).
Levenslijnen (lifelines) (2016), the artwork by Marjan Laaper (1971) is a portrait of actor and singer Ramses Shaffy (1933-2009), one of the colourful former inhabitants of the neighbourhood. Marjan Laaper, who specialises in large-scale video projections, installations, and art commissions in public space, recently had an exhibition at Galerie NL = US in Rotterdam.
The Argentinian artist Amalia Pica (1978) made the artwork for station De Pijp, Sipping Colors (2017). Earlier this year at On The Inside, a new art space at the NDSM-docks in Amsterdam, the exhibition Fragments Of Sphere was on show, with eight noteworthy artworks that explored the concept of fragmentation, visually as well as conceptually. Amalia Pica presented her work AnBnCnAnBnC. In the same exhibit, one could also view work by David Claerbout (metro hall Central Station) and by Saskia Noor van Imhoff, whom QKunst worked with for the Rabobank.
In Station Europaplein one can see the work ‘I want a permanent wave’ (2018) by Gerald van der Kaap (1959). More recently, the artist revisited his popular film Beyond Index (2017) and created a video installation for a solo exhibition at the Amsterdam project space Rozenstraat. The installation is a remix of his original film, which follows a group of Chinese art students working in a painting factory on the precise imitation of classic paintings from the Western canon.
In recent years, there has been a lot of discussion and even well worked out plans for a station between Noorderpark and CS: Sixhaven. For now Sixhaven (and with it, an additional artwork for which three artists made concepts), has been cancelled. Perhaps in the future there will be room for an extra stop (and artwork) between Noord and Amsterdam.
Hurray, it’s the North-South line’s birthday!