Later is now (2005) Marcelle van Bemmel

Marcelle van Bemmel
About the artwork

On 24 January 2005 a new work of art was unveiled on Bergsingel: a text image by Marcelle van Bemmel. Van Bemmel's assignment was to create a work of art that was a mirror of the past and made the history of the 19e century singles tangible. Two lines of text are reflected in the water: 'later is now' and 'now was later". With this artwork, Van Bemmel also wanted to create a 'mirror of the future'. The text lines are a language game of four words each, connecting the present, past and future. People walking along the canal can always check whether the texts can be read in the water surface that day, which depends on the weather. The concept of a 'mirror of the past' immediately raised a question with the Rotterdam artist Van Bemmel. Why refer to the history of the canals if it is so clearly felt? With its old houses and large trees, it seems as if the area has always been like that. But on closer inspection much has changed. Many buildings have been added, the water basins have been shifted, traffic has increased. In this way the canal itself is a kind of distorted mirror of the past, in which you desire to be able to step through it, into the old days. But to what extent is such a 'mirror' a reality? To what extent is the image we have of the past correct? Van Bemmel's work does not stand on its own. The Rose singles were renovated to the original design of the 19e century city architect Rose and art was assigned an important role in this. The former borough of Noord approached the Center for Visual Arts because of this major renovation project of various canals and had an art plan written: "Visual Art and the single families of Rotterdam" by Han Goan Lim and Albert Kliest. Several art commissions have been issued based on this, including Lake Bermuda by Susanne Kriemann and a seat and blue bridge by Jeroen Doorenweerd on the Berg- and Noordsingel. Works of art have also been placed on the Spoor- en Provenierssingel, such as In the city / The young man on the island from Henk Visch, A swan in the distance from Klaas Gubbels and Kryptonian Ice Lake by Guido Marsille and Onno Poiesz.

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About the artist

Marcelle van Bemmel (1948) prefers to use 'materials' that have no definable shape, such as water, reflections, light and shadow, sound, but also time. Her commissioned work enters into a relationship with the environment and the public, and often refers to the history of the place.