WORKING SPACE AND MANIFESTATIONS
There is no ready-made concept for possibilities of working and manifestation space. Each building and every city has its own possibilities and limitations, combined with the local artist community. It’s always an exciting challenge for me to think up something that will work on the specific location and to find the right artists to involve. I have made concepts and advised municipalities, artists and commercial ventures aside from realizing my own.
One of the most important concepts is using vacant realty for art manifestations or working space. Today this is commonly used but when I started you didn’t see this much. In Amsterdam there were buildings occupied by squatters, but I didn’t see much of a future in these constructions. Aside from not generating money for projects (squatters don’t pay rent) the basis is very insecure and you can be thrown out any minute.
It’s very easy to create a win-win situation by offering the vacant buildings in the citiy to an artist-based organization. First of all, the building is no longer vacant, secondly things happen that make a city attractive, on top of that the city holds on to its artists by offering payable working space, less subsidy is necessary and the artists work together, which strengthens the artist-community. Concept examples:
Thinking creatively with others for the development of a construction project. I was invited to the conference table of AM (a big construction developer in Utrecht) as creative concept thinker vor plans concerning the redevelopment of the NPD-terrain next to the Shopping Mall Overvecht in Utrecht.This terrain was available for redevelopment under many conditions amongst which the possibility of keeping creatives in the area. This condition came forth out of years of lobbying the politicians to keep artists in this area. The Brailledreef and Das Spectrum were well known in the city after many years of activities by their occupants. This demanded a follow-up.
AM did a particularly generous offer to propose that Das Spectrum would not be torn down and it would be given to Sophies without cost. Unfortunately, AM did not win the tender for the area that held Das Spectrum and this building and the fantastic offer were lost. After winning the tender for the other 3 parts, AM has started building in 2019. I’m very curious how much of the creative input will remain intact when this plan has been executed.