Bik van der Pol

Bik van der Pol

Thursday the 1st of october at 19:30

Bik van der Pol

We will talk about Turning a blind eye, a programme of public workshops, events, lectures and walks during the 31st Biennale of Sao Paulo (2014) that explores different notions of the `unseen´ (the non-visible and the non-existent), and the ways in which we look at things or choose what we look at. Departing from recent events in Brazil and worldwide, the program seeked to investigate the idea of ‘publicness’ and the tensions that arise from increasing exploitation of urban and natural space.
Turning a blind eye emphasized on the temporary visibility, the ‘visible bundling’ of learning practice as the production of future capital, united in a temporary structure that not only accommodates these dynamics but also renders them visible, both as an image literally reflecting the energy going on as well as on the value of participation; a space where learning, leisure, hanging out and around and focused experiences are anticipated in continuous change. The spaces of the school were loosely ‘marked’ by a continuously transforming theatrical and performative element, a full size live-scoreboard that functions as display and stage set, animated live by activators follows the developments of the Biennale and invited the publics to become participants.Bik Van der Pol invited several universities and organisations, such as PUC, Escola da Cidade, Parque Augusta, and others, as well as the students of the School of Missing Studies to engage with the program.
Above, aside and intertwined, they will, through a few examples of their work, unfold how site-sensivity and learning is related to  their artistic practice.


Reading suggestions

Guattari, Three Ecologies (or the longer version here:
Bruno Latour, Agency at the time of the Anthropocene
Bernd Scherer, The Monsters
On the concept of history, Walter Benjamin
Toward a Lexicon of Usership
A Lexicon as a Tool. Download from:

Bik Van der Pol work collectively since 1995. They live and work in Rotterdam (NL) Through their practice they aim to articulate and understand how art can produce a public sphere, and to create space for speculation and imagination. This includes forms of mediation through which publicness is not only defined but also created. Their working method is based on co-operation and research methods of how to activate situations as to create a platform for various kinds of communicative activities.
Bik Van der Pol’s  mode of working consists of setting up the conditions for encounter, where they develop a process of working that allow for continuous reconfigurations of places, histories and publics. Their practice is collaborative where dialogue is used as a mode of transfer, understood in its etymological meaning of “a speech across or between two or more people, out of which may emerge new understandings” or “passing through”1. In fact, they consider the element of “passing through” as vital. It is temporal, implying action and the development of new forms of discourse. Their collaborative practice is both instigator and result of this method.

Recent shows and projects include:
The Power Plant, Toronto (Can); PAMM (Perez Art Museum) Miami, Jakarta Biennale, Mauritius Pavillion, Venice Bienal; Future Light, MAK, Vienna; Decolonized Skies, ADNPlatform, Barcelona (2015); Public art project, Ternitz (Austria), 31st Sao Paulo Bienale, Sao Paulo; Museum of Arte Util, Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven; The Crime Was Almost Perfect*, Witte de With Centre for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, Apex Art ,Decolonised Skies, NYC, CAFA Art Museum, The Missing Stories, Beijng, The Part In The Story, Witte de With Centre for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, The Crime was almost Perfect, PAC Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea. Milano (it) (2014); 25 years City Collections, Museum Boymans van Beuningen Rotterdam, Biennale of Mercosul, Porto Alegre, Brazil, Call of the Mall, project for Hoog Catarijne, Utrecht, CAPACETE entretenimentos ROAD/BOAT 3.1.8 at  the school Xapomi, Amazon, Brazil (2013); You talking to me? 98Weeks (Beirut, Lebanon); Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Sudbury (Ca), Musagetes (2012); Living As Form, Creative Time, New York ; Accumulate, Collect, Show, Frieze Projects, Frieze Art Fair, London; (2011); 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; Xth Lyon Bienniale, Lyon (2009); Plug In 28, Pay Attention, Act 1, 2, 3, Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven (2008); Xth Istanbul Biennale ; Fly Me To The Moon, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (2007); Secession, Vienna (2005)
What if the moon were just a jump away? Published by Bik Van der Pol and Labin Imprint/Jan van Eijck Academie (2013); As Above, So Below (2011), published by Bik Van der Pol; It isn’t what it used to be and will never be again (2009), published by CCA Glasgow; Public Arena (2009), published by Bik Van der Pol/Context3, Dublin; Catching Some Air (2002), published by Henry Moore InstituteWith Love From The Kichen (2005), 010 publishers; Past Imperfect (2005, 2007), published by CascoProjects; Fly Me To The Moon (2006), published by Sternberg Press ; The Lost Moment (2007), self-published
Curated: Deze sokken niet wit, Van Abbemuseum (2012); Too late, too little, (and how) to fail gracefully, Kunstfort Asperen, (2011); Neverodoreven (2009) Piet Zwart institute in Rotterdam ; Plug In, collection Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven (2007-2009); I’ve got something in my eye, collection Marie Louise Hessel Museum/CCS Bard (2008); Teasing Minds, Kunstverein Munich (2004); Married By Powers TENT/collection Frac Nord Pas Calais, Dunkerque (2002). Bik Van der Pol ran the temporary Master program The School of Missing Studies (2013-2015 at Sandberg Institute, Amsterdam). They are advisors at the Jan van Eijck Academy in Maastricht. Liesbeth Bik is an advisor at The Appel ICP (Amsterdam), and a tutor at Piet Zwart Institute (Rotterdam).