Chill underneath De Paviljoens
Bik Van der Pol, Love & Happiness (2001)
What unites the citizens of Almere in their choice to live in this city? A scientific study into the social coherence in Almere has shown that the inhabitants come here to find domesticity combined with a pioneering spirit.1 This contradiction appears to be a guarantee of the pursuit of a ‘happy life’.
The artists’ duo Liesbeth Bik and Jos van der Pol always draw inspiration from the place where they work. Bik Van der Pol do not so much want to show their work to the public as to actually make it together with that public. For them, the museum is not a place for looking at art, but a location that can serve as a social meeting place.
For the light installation Love & Happiness (the subtitle translates as ‘light installation with red fluorescent tubes mounted in a grid underneath one of the pavilions’), they chose to work outdoors. Bik Van der Pol decided to work in the empty space underneath the museum, that stands on pillars. They fitted coloured strip lighting that submerges the museum in a red glow every night. The first time the lights were switched on was during the eponymous exhibition LOVE AND HAPPINESS in 2001. Museum De Paviljoens soon became a favourite hang-out and meeting place, attracting mainly young people. That way, the non-space underneath the museum, that was normally not considered a public space, became an active part of both the museum and the city.
As the light installation is still a part of the building and its location in Almere, it can also be activated separately from the original exhibition. This is made clear in the title, which includes a mention of the location to underline the site-specific nature and origin of the work.
1. In 2001, the sociologist Prof. Cees Schuyt, Dr Leon Deben and students of the UvA conducted a study into the social cohesion of Almere, commissioned by the Municipality of Almere.
Bik van der Pol, Love & Happiness
Bik van der Pol
Liesbeth Bik and Jos van der Pol, collaborating since 1995
Love & Happiness, lichtinstallatie tl buizen met rood licht gemonteerd in een grid onder een van de paviljoens, 2001
purchased in 2001, Museum De Paviljoens