That bend (2011) Observatorium

photo Otto Snoek
About the artwork

In October 2011, the newly designed Kleinpolderplein was opened. In the pond under the flyovers of the square is a work of art called Observatorium That bend. It consists of two walkways, both of which reach in a graceful curve from nowhere to nowhere. Two bridges that no one can reach and over which no one can walk. Yet the bridges clearly connect old and new, east and west, below and above. The work is an indication of what can happen to Kleinpolderplein in the future, because it is expected to be used as a roundabout until about 2025. Observatorium, consisting of the artists Ruud Reutelingsperger, Geert van de Camp and André Dekker, hopes that the square will not be demolished, but that a park will be created with a view of the city from the flyovers, which will then be changed into hiking trails. The name of the artwork is taken from a poem by Martin Bril, who was once so impressed by this entrance to Rotterdam that he tried to capture that feeling in the following lines of poetry:

That bend
Rotterdam is a bend
More specifically: this bend

From The Hague and Amsterdam
About the A20, exit center
On the Kleinpolderplein

The best turn in the world
Narrow and poor asphalt, weeds, crash barriers with rust
A German turn, sharp turn

And instead of down
He goes up, that's the best thing
Because up, then down
(only does not apply to rivers)

And then suddenly there is that bend
That bend that is Rotterdam

And in that bend lies the city or better
Said: she is suddenly there in that bend

The city
The skyline

What a woman!

The bend is short
But after the turn it gets even better

De weg

The road, a winding road, a road
Blijdorp on the right, Vroesenpark on the left

Such a road
To take hard towards the traffic light
At the start of the Stadhoudersweg
And the start of Rotterdam

From: Martin Bril, Rotterdam, the city in poems (Amsterdam, 2002)

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About the artist

Observatorium is a collaboration of artists Geert van de Camp, André Dekker, Ruud Reutelingsperger and Lieven Poutsma in Rotterdam. Since 1997 they have dedicated themselves to the connections between art, landscape and society. They make sculptures that are accepted as a common good for that genius loci and that are used.

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