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Squatters open gallery at Ferdinand Bol

Alex van Veen

19 January 2007 - Last weekend, students of the Rietveld Art Academy and the University of Amsterdam (UvA) have entered a vacated business accommodation at the Ferdinand Bolstraat in Amsterdam. Tomorrow, art gallery De Lekkerste will open.

Ferdinand Bolstraat 1 was appropriated Sunday 14 January. “In the middle of the Pijp neighbourhood, between bars and shops and next to the Heineken Experience, this initiative found an unused and virgin white space, where exhibitions and performances will be held and people waiting at the tram stop can get a cup of coffee”, the students say in a press release.

In Amsterdam, twenty percent of office buildings are vacant, while new ones are still being built frantically. According to neighbourhood residents, the business accommodation at the Ferdinand Bolstraat had not been used for as long as two years. The last business to operate from the accommodation was deregistered in 2004. “From the enthusiast responses from passers-by, it can be concluded that the gallery is seen as a welcome use of the location”, the squatters say.

The initiative, taken by a group of students of the Rietveld Academy and the UvA, was taken “to give colour to the city, use unused spaces, receive people at an open location, get people to participate and let new things come into being”. Young and unknown artists will be offered an opportunity to exhibit their work and to work at the studio.

“This initiative is self-evident to us. As self-evident as the fact that we are the lekkerste [the tastiest]!” the initiators say. They were earlier involved in the Schijnheilig gallery at the Heiligeweg and the Damoclash project at Pakhuis Afrika, both squats that have been evicted during the past years.

Saturday 20 January at 6 pm the first exhibition ‘What’s that smell’ will open at De Lekkerste Gallery. With performances by students of the Gerrit Rietveld Academy.

This article originally appeared on Ravage Digitaal


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