Bik Van der Pol

Facts on the Ground


Image credit: Bik Van der Pol, Facts on the Ground, single channel video, 2010.

Circling over and around the site, approaching the location like a prey, following the line of the sea defense, the maps of Maasvlakte 2 are being recreated and re-enacted, as a drawing in the sky, using the helicopter as pencil and the filmcamera as the paper where its traces are left. Recording the aspects that informed the final design and the making of a landscape through all its different stages and presences, the experience of time becomes tangible, resulting, finally, in the “making of a drawing”, the 18 minutes long film Facts on the ground.

The creation of MV2 aims to offer the port of Rotterdam the opportunity to retain and expand its leading position in Europe during the coming decades, thus enabling Rotterdam to continue to intensify its indispensable hinterland connections. The importance of economic growth, and a wide range of labour opportunities supported by a large infrastructure of services and transportation links to the rest of Europe will secure Rotterdam as a major port. To achieve this, MV2 is being formed after many years of discussion and preparation. Reclaimed land will slowly emerge in time through the construction of beach, sand dunes, rubble and concrete blocks as a sea defence. Inside these defences, sand taken from carefully selected locations at sea will make land, and soon, the sea defence will be closed and land will ‘shake hand with land’.



Bik Van der Pol are based in Rotterdam and have worked collectively since 1995. Their work explores art’s potential produce and transmit knowledge, through cooperative research methods and the creation of platforms for various kinds of communication. Solo shows and projects include Are you really sure a floor can’t also be a ceiling? ENEL Award 2010, MACRO museum, Rome (2010); It isn’t what it used to be and will never be again, CCA Glasgow (2009); I’ve got something in my eye, Marie Louise Hessel Museum/CCS Bard, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY(2008); Nomads in Residence/No.19, a mobile workspace for artists, Utrecht (2003, with Korteknie Stuhlmacher architects). Group shows include: The Future of Pumphouse, Pumphouse gallery, London (2011); We are Grammar, Pratt Institute, New York (2011); Learning from Vancouver, Western Front, Vancouver (2010); Portscapes, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2010); Street of Sculptures, Bijlmer, Amsterdam (2011/2012); A Retrospective Future, CAC VOX, Montreal (2011); Living As Form, Creative Time, New York (2011). They curated Too late, too little, (and how) to fail gracefully, Kunstfort Asperen, (2011).