5 Feb – 6 Mar 2005

Tijdelijke Halte Post Cs

Maze de Boer

W139 has invited the Dutch artist Maze de Boer to make a site-specific installation in the basement of the Post CS Building. De Boer will be realizing a pseudo subway station in the former depot of the TPG Building: Tijdelijke halte: Post CS (Temporary Stop Post CS).

Previous 1 /  Next

The artist took his inspiration from the dark, gloomy atmosphere of the underground exhibition spaces and from the idea of the subway station as a literal stop-over, a transitional zone. A place that doesn’t really house anyone, where everyone present is in transit. The two-part installation, a kind of ghost stop, functions as the reconstruction of a non-existent space that has the prototypical traits of an Amsterdam subway stop. The platform and the waiting room function as a kind of hyper realistic scenery, faithful copies of the real thing. Although they seem life-size imitations of utilitarian spaces, they lack their essence, namely functionality. No train will ever arrive at this platform, no one will ever be carried off to another destination. De Boer’s station is a portal to nowhere, a kind of space in limbo. Other artists have been inspired by the underground transport system, like the Hungarian Antal Lakner and the legendary Martin Kippenberger, whose project Metronet, an imaginary global network of fictitious subway stations, has earned great notoriety.

De Boer’s subway station, however, is not a virtual construct but a place of physical experience that has to be entered by the audience. In this work, the artist explores his fascination for appearance and illusion and his interest in the concept of the installation as a performance. The viewer participates in this performance by simply being present - by visiting the space and viewing it. Unlike the protagonist of Peter Weir’s 1998 film The Truman Show, the viewer is aware of the fact that he is wandering into a staged reality.

Nonetheless he is lured into believing that this fake reality holds some kind of partial reality in store. After all, the station also seems to refer to the new Noord-Zuid subway line, which should become operational in 2011. The construction of this connection is having a profound impact on the way Amsterdam looks at present.

The installation can be viewed as an experiment with a representational model (the simulation) that is explored by several artists, for instance the Belgian Guillaume Bijl. As curator Ronald Van de Sompel puts it, the representational techniques are themselves represented. In contrast with Bijl, however, De Boer is not concerned with indirect institutional or cultural commentary but with evoking a kind of pleasant absurdity, a form of poetry of alienation and abandonment.

Mede tot stand gekomen door
GVB, Maison Descartes, Neef Louis Design, Gemeente Amsterdam, Ministerie OC & W, Stichting Doen en VSB Fonds