Doric column (1990) Kunst & Vaarwerk
Everyone knows the pictures of ancient temple ruins in Greece, but who expected them to be at a Rotterdam roundabout? Artists collective Kunst & Vaarwerk ended up at Beneluxplein when Frans Swarttouw asked them to liven up the centenary of the company with the realization of a work of art. Beneluxplein is a link between city and port, a connection that Kunst & Vaarwerk liked to make. The large scale and columnar formations of the road complex reminded the artists of the buildings of classical antiquity and the fact that civilizations always build on the remnants of the past. That is how they came up with the idea of placing a 'folly'. The fake ruins are known under that name, which were mainly built in English gardens in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Due to the redevelopment of the Beneluxplein, the artwork has been stored at the Port Authority pending possible relocation in a more suitable location. Perhaps, just like the examples from classical antiquity, to be able to defy the centuries.
Kunst & Vaarwerk was an artist group consisting of Cor Kraat (1946), Hans Citroen (1946) and Willem van Drunen (1947) and existed from 1979 to 1992. Kunst & Vaarwerk was a Dutch pop-art variant, which hit back with humor and irony to the harsh urbanity. The scale of the port city called for an art of stature and brutality, but it is also an art against forgetfulness. The group collaborated with the Rotterdam business community to finance the projects and has realized various works in public space.