Motor ship Noordereiland (2000) Joe Cillen

Joe Cillen
About the artwork

Joe Cillen is the instigator of the project MS Noordereiland, either Motor ship Noordereiland. The Noordereiland is the Rotterdam island in the river Nieuwe Maas. The island is connected by the Willemsbrug and Koninginnebrug. It has 3300 inhabitants, dozens of businesses, shops and galleries. In collaboration with artists, philosophers and residents of the Noordereiland, Cillen is working on transforming the island into a motor vessel. If it threw its bridges, it could sail away. The concept of this project arose from the need to create a pleasant living environment. This is not about the goal, but about the way to it. Since around 2000, Cillen has consistently worked on the implementation of this idea. He mobilized designers to design bulletins (Scheepsjournaals). He mobilized artists to contribute to the idea of ​​the motor vessel. Fruit trees have been placed to prevent scurvy. Special flags sewn, because a ship cannot do without flags that were hung on the facades. Under the banner of MS Noordereiland are numerous works of art and murals to be seen, the most eye-catching Portboard Starboard: two luminous trays on the apartment building at Prins Frederikplein, which is perpendicular to the longitudinal direction of the 'boat', making it an ideal place for lamps to mark port and starboard. The entire concept is based on the shape and location of the island, and is a participatory project that identifies all islanders as crew members and part of this story.

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About the artist

Joe Cillen (Paal, 1945) is a former skipper and conceptual artist, who expresses himself through both installations and painting. He has been working on the 'MS Noordereiland' plan since around 2000, in which he sees the Noordereiland as a large motor vessel.