Su 13 Dec 09
Squatting designed The Netherlands
As an essential parameter of the ‘Open city’, Dutch legislation reserves a place for individual initiative in the urban space by sanctioning squatting in its unique squatting law. Having long been object to political dispute, this law is now finally under threat of extermination, a decision that would seal in access to real estate in the commercial and institutional sectors.
Unrecognised as of yet in a public debate mainly concerned with ideological issues like squatters’ violence and questions of the meaning of ownership is the fundamental role that squatting has played for the flourishing of Dutch creativity. Putting in use unused space, the internationally renowned school of ‘Dutch Design’ and artists from multifold disciplines, supported by a set of fore-running art institutions, could generate a creative energy and diversity that is unparalleled in Europe today.
The initiative ‘Squatting designed the Netherlands’ highlights the meaning legal squatting has had in nurturing Dutch creative production. As such, it is supported by many of Holland’s leading artists, designers, art institutions and architects. This exhibition puts a diversity of work on display by artists whose careers began in the blank spaces protected by the squatting law.
NAI, The Hood