Witte de Withstraat & Hals art stop (2000) John Blake
In 1994, the tram line 'Witte de Withstraat' was abolished on the then 5 line. The stop, which is located not too far from the stops on Eendrachtsplein, was considered unnecessary by the RET. Due to protests from museums and shopkeepers in the neighborhood, the stop in 1995 was taken back into use at the initiative of Manuel Kneepkens of the Stadspartij. After all, it lies on the cultural axis between Witte de Withstraat and Museumpark. This special stop should have its own identity with a work of art. Artist John Blake placed a second stop opposite the existing tram stop. This looked suspiciously like a normal stop, but was completely white and stripped of any form of advertising, duty rosters and plans. Only the name Witte de Withstraat art stop is stated above a large area. The Kunsthalte functions well today and has been put into use by RET, like a 'real' stop.
On the other side of the Westersingel, on a concrete plateau in the slope (a sewer bunker), Blake placed a pedestal with a neck on it. This one Neck is an enlargement of a display used to display jewelery in the window of jewelery stores. At first glance, the link between the white is stripped Art stop and the Neck not directly laid, but whoever looks longer sees that Neck - just as snow-white - with his 'face' facing the tram stop. This makes the connection between the two elements visible. Both elements can be seen as museumized copies, fitting in the Museum Quarter of Rotterdam.
John Blake (Rhode Island - USA, 1945 - Laren, 2017) was trained as a painter at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and at Yale University. He continued his art education at the Royal College of Art in London. He has since been based in London and Amsterdam. Blake has built up an oeuvre of mixed media artworks that were shown at exhibitions or made for a specific place in the public space.