Atelier van Lieshout`s amorph sculptures are currently on view in Vienna. The sculptures are humorous interventions, putting a question mark over rules and social and aesthetic conventions, questioning housing, waste, transportation and procreation.
In 2001, AVL founded AVL-Ville, an independent state settled around their studio in the harbor of Rotterdam, exploring autonomous social development. AVL-Ville is prohibited by the government agency.
Jennifer Allen: How did Atelier van Lieshout evolve into AVL-Ville?
Joep van Lieshout: We were making more and more artworks about self-sufficiency – mobile homes and containers for various activities – so the idea of an autonomous village was already taking shape. Then, in 1998, we got a comission to design an urban-planning project for Almere, a new city that the Dutch government began building in the province of Flevoland in the `70s. we came up with a plan for `Free State Almere’, which would have sealed off the city from the rest of the country. Unfortunately, our proposal was rejected, so we decided to create our own free state around the atelier. I wanted to make a beautiful spot for people who work at AVL. (Read more)
Apart from a visual criticism on the presentation of half-naked female bodies in urban space which I could offer, the ‘Bikini – Bar is described as ‘the only female body you can enter without permission` (press-release by Atelier Van Lieshout). Is this the failed attempt to explain and excuse the ambivalent message, the sculpture`s transporting?
I definitely love this intervention, but nevertheless it makes use of the female-body as a tool for provocation in public space.