Start of the long-term art programme Social Capital in September 2018
Artists react to (the consequences of) the building boom in Amsterdam North
Amsterdam is popular. The city rides the waves of the international economy; the throngs of tourists, many Airbnbs and large-scale construction and renovation projects cannot have gone unnoticed. Certainly in Amsterdam North, a veritable building boom is underway. TAAK, a collective that initiates art projects in the public domain, sees the changes occurring every day. Located in the Poortgebouw building of the Tolhuistuin art complex, which until recently was a creative hub in North, TAAK finds itself situated between the expensive apartments of Overhoeks, the renovations of the former Van der Pek garden village, and the Sixhavenkwartier, which is also due for major re-development. The monotonous pounding of concrete piles, queues at the ferry, paid parking, rapidly rising house prices, and the arrival of trendy cafes are the visible and audible consequences of this new activity.
But what are the less immediately obvious consequences of these developments in the Old North? What do these changes mean for the social fabric of the city? How do we maintain the cultural diversity and wilfulness that Amsterdam has been famous for since the 60s and, for North specifically, the green and social character of the former garden villages? With the long-term art programme Social Capital, TAAK raises critical questions and shows the visions, attempts and strategies of artists, thinkers and doers who care about the quality of life in the city. The key question in this regard is: how can art question gentrification without itself becoming an instrument within this process?
The title Social Capital refers to the network of relations between people as a precondition for social interaction. These networks are essential for the quality of life and the functioning of a society and form the basis for social change. However, the composition of neighbourhoods often changes drastically as a result of gentrification, which has consequences for their diversity as well as the social cohesion. Within Social Capital, over the coming years TAAK will invite artists to critically react to these changes, starting in the Old North of Amsterdam. The programme consists of interventions and initiatives that bring into focus the situation and (future) developments of the Old North and its residents. By establishing new connections between art, local networks and cultures, and without claiming to have ready-made answers, Social Capital aims to propose alternatives to the homogenization of the city.
Social Capital during Pay Attention Please!
In September 2018 Social Capital will begin as part of Pay Attention Please! This event is an initiative of eleven Amsterdam-based art institutes that together wish to draw attention to the wealth of public space.
Programme of Social Capital
World Building Laboratory – Monnik
26 – 30 September 2018
Monnik, a speculative agency for future and fiction, will start with a pilot of the World Building Laboratory. In work sessions with interested parties, we will build towards shared future scenarios for a sustainable and inclusive Amsterdam. As a specific case, we will take the Sixhaven area.
The work sessions will take place on 12 and 19 September and will be closed to the public. The results will be presented during the final seminar of Public Art Amsterdam on Sunday 30 September in the Ondernemershuis Crataegus (Crataegus entrepreneur house) at the Meidoornplein. The drawings of future scenarios used in the sessions will also be displayed there from 26 to 30 September.
BOLD TOWER BUILDING MATERIALS - Lara Almarcegui
From the end of September 2018, a list of building materials will be displayed on the sidewall of the new Hyperion Lyceum in Overhoeks near the IJ River. This artwork by Lara Almarcegui presents a list of the tools and raw materials to be used in the construction of the 25-storey BOLD tower that will stand next to the Hyperion Lyceum. With every newly built storey, the artwork is gradually hidden from view. In this way, Almarcegui confronts us with the enormous materiality of the city and raises questions about the impact of this materiality on our surroundings.
Parking for Stories (Verhaalt Parkeren) - Manon van Hoeckel
Social designer Manon van Hoeckel exposes a direct consequence of the increasing pressure and activity in North. Since July, several neighbourhoods have introduced paid parking, a difficulty for the neighbourhood and a cause for much debate. As a result of this new parking policy, the residents receive fewer visits from family and friends. Between 26 and 30 September, Van Hoeckel offers a number of free parking spaces, in exchange for stories about everyday problems and their solutions in the (future) neighbourhood.
Just Practice! – Klaar van der Lippe and Bart Stuart
The activist artists Klaar van der Lippe and Bart Stuart have lived in the Van der Pek neighbourhood for years and have experienced all the changes personally. For Social Capital, they develop an app and performances that aim to conjure up experiences of new collectivity in public space.
The performances take place continually at the Buikslotermeerplein on Saturday 29 September.
Final seminar of Pay Attention Please!
The final weekend of the Pay Attention Please! event is to take place on 29 and 30 September 2018. During this weekend, various partners of Public Art Amsterdam will present a guided tour, a gathering, or an intervention. As a partner of Public Art Amsterdam, TAAK has taken the lead in initiating the Social Capital Meet-Up, which begins on Saturday evening in the Tolhuistuin and continues on Sunday in Ondernemershuis Crataegus at the Meidoornplein. During this Meet-Up, together with (international) speakers and artists, we will delve into the role of culture and social values in relation to gentrification; various cultural interventions will form the starting points for discussion.
Social Capital in Amsterdam-West in 2019
In cooperation with TAAK, our partner LIMA will develop a programme in Amsterdam-West as part of Social Capital, with artists Julika Rudelius, Lyubov Matyunina and the DNK-ENSEMBLE. This programme will be presented in May 2019.