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. Noordereiland is the Rotterdam island in the Nieuwe Maas river. The island is connected by the Willemsbrug and Koninginnebrug. It has 3300 residents, dozens of businesses, stores and galleries. In collaboration with artists, philosophers and residents of Noordereiland, Cillen is working on turning the island into a motor ship. If it were to throw away 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 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 ship. Fruit trees have been placed to prevent scurvy. Special flags have been sewn, because a ship cannot do without flags that came to hang on the facades. Under the flag of MS Noordereiland are numerous works of art and murals to be seen, the most eye-catching Portboard Starboard: two light-emitting bins on the apartment building on Prins Frederikplein that is perpendicular to the length of the 'boat' and is therefore an ideal place for lamps to mark port and starboard. The whole concept is based on the shape and location of the island, and is a participation project that labels all islanders as persons on board 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 installations and painting. He has been working on the 'MS Noordereiland' plan since around 2000, where he regards the Noordereiland as a large motor ship.