A gift horse! We got – as a present – the opportunity to do a guided tour of all the artwork along the new North-South metro line in Amsterdam. The good people of Amsterdam had money to burn: 5 million Euro. Pretty nice!  

I very much appreciate the effort taken to make the art more than something to liven up a dreary space – every artwork relates to the area it finds itself in.

I especially liked the video work ‘weather engine’ in the Central Station metrohall. It is by David Claerbouw, who shows us a quintessential Dutch landscape with canal, dike, trees and sky, and a man walking and sitting in it. Made using digital game technology, Claerbouw animated every blade of grass and every leaf. The separate elements in the image are directed by the artist to represent the time of year, the present weather conditions and the crowdyness of the metro station the work is placed in. The little man for example will sit quietly along the canal when it’s not very busy at the metro station, and will pace and run when it’s very busy. The trees can change to christmas trees, and so forth and so on. Lovely!   

Lots of other good stuff at the other metro stations. Just one I did not get – Amalia Pica’s ‘Sipping colors’ at De Pijp. A line of flags, a halyard, meant to represent the festiveness of the market at De Pijp. But printed in vague colors on a grey background – just not festive at all. 

Anyways, if you are in for art in public space, the guided tour is a super idea. Book your tickets here. Check on the artworks here (dutch). 


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