• © Ulises Chamorro

  • © Ulises Chamorro

  • © 020apps

Date 25.03.2020

EIGHT CUBIC METERS: no pandemic will ever castrate Amsterdam’s art tenses – Text by OG

Visiting downtown’s only open-air art gallery might not be a sin in times of pandemic; instead it fulfills an urgent need to debunk the nightmarish idea that we in Amsterdam are in an unrelenting state of loneliness.

With all educational activities cancelled until April sixth (at least) due to COVID-19, the Rietveld Academie has not let its first-year Fine Arts students down. At the humid, concrete Grand Bazar de la Bourse (1933) building’s sidewall; display cabinets are now their public exhibition.

The cabinets where the work is exhibited face an empty alley. Within them are four students’ responses to this situational reality, a space devoid of visitors pausing in contemplation.

A visual submissive that would typically be muted by caravans of consumers passing by is now in full acoustic presence, echoing sadness with beauty and grandeur.

The art pieces themselves are students’ personal memorabilia now in the property of public eyes:

Tindra Jonsdotter

Sacha Cardoso

Ingeborg Kraft Fermin

Felix Keslassy

Wrapping affordable raw art in white boxes belonging to a former trading ship built almost hundred years ago – resonates in conflicting timescapes in my thoughts. Are they detoxing the city of aggressive commercialism and surrendering it to the artwork’s own curatorial control? The primary goal is not convincing us to spend money, but instead captivating our eyes. It contributes to preparation for what could be the latest human challenge: how our shopping habits will reshape after the virus?

Hypothetically speaking art could eventually force commercial parasites out of the city, allowing storefronts to redefine consumerism and make decisions that lean more towards responsible times ahead. Art will be the city’s only landlord.

We mean smart art, which superbly knows how to fall in love with its own company.

To hear when the second group will take over the windows, follow @rietveldacademie


Sint Nicolaasstraat 122

1012 NK Amsterdam (NL)

This article appears in the March 24, 2020, entry of A Shaded View On Fashion