Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bik Van Der Pol

( Inside Sunset Theater in Luxembourg)

Last night I went to the San Francisco Art Institute to see Liesbeth Bik and Jos van der Pol who have collaborated as Bik Van Der Pol since 1995. The focus of their artwork has widely focused on public space and its function, cinema, and architecture. They began by showing images from their Book Shop Project, from 1995-96 which is one of my favorites. They said they were inspired by the process of stumbling upon a great or important book. I love the process of walking into a book store without any idea of what you want and walking out with something you didn't know you needed. Liesbeth apparently had walked into a fantastically small bookstore that was filled with books on social theory, gay theory, art history, and philosophy to name a few. She decided that they would recreate this book store inside a Rotterdam Museum. They hand selected all the books that they felt were important to stumble upon and actually made them available to buy and take home. Another project they discussed was Sleep with Me in 97 where they laid down rows of mattresses and pillows and invited people to come fall asleep to Andy Warhol's movie, Sleep. They recreated the piece for multiple museums in different forms and settings including a gallery in Tokyo. Another one of my favorites, which they concluded with, was Sunset Cinema. This was a work for a public space in which they created a movie theater which consisted of box of stairs, the size of the projected image, which was directly facing the side of a house which served as the screen. I was overall very impressed with their thoughtful insight on their past projects, however long, they were incredibly informative and interesting.

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