In 2015 the Netherlands commemorates its occupation seventy-five years ago and celebrates its liberation seventy years ago. Monuments to Peace presents both realised and unexecuted designs for war memorials from the archives of Het Nieuwe Instituut. In the exhibition, three young designers and artists selected by Studio Makkink & Bey show how a new generation deals with themes of war and peace.
Prior to the celebration of Liberation Day on May 5, all over the country people gather at one of the many war memorials on the evening of May 4 to commemorate the victims of the war years 1940-1945. Monuments to Peace is the fourth edition of the exhibition series Surprising finds from the collection and shows a number of well-known monuments to World War II, of which the designs are part of the collection of Het Nieuwe Instituut.
As with the annual national commemoration, the National Monument on the Dam takes central place in Monuments to Peace. Multiple architects worked on a design for a national monument, but it was the design by J.J.P. Oud that eventually got realised. A number of photographs show how a model was used to position the pylon of the monument within the space of the square. In addition to the monument on the Dam, the exhibition also features Oud's memorial for the Grebbeberg, a place of fierce battle in May 1940, where many soldiers died.
The presentation also includes unexecuted designs, like that of A. Komter for a memorial cemetery in the dunes of Bloemendaal. The gripping designs for sculptures with which architect G.W.E. Tuynman entered into an international competition for the Auschwitz concentration camp are also on view. Even more distinctive is the explicit visual language in the design by Daniel Libeskind for a monument at the Jewish barracks at the former Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Berlin, which was never realised.
Monuments to Peace is the forth edition of Surprising Finds. For this series archivist Alfred Marks selects extraordinary drawings, photographs, objects and models from the archives of Het Nieuwe Instituut on the basis of a theme. The presentations do not necessarily show the highlights of the Dutch architectural history, but first and foremost show the richness, diversity and narrative power of the collection.
Makkink & Bey
The office for design, applied art and architecture Studio Makkink & Bey created the spatial design for the series of archive exhibitions entitled Surprising Finds. For each installment, Studio Makkink&Bey carries out a spatial intervention in the interior originally designed by OMA, freeing up the plan of the archive room and creating space for the collection, and guest interventions by young designers and artists.
For each edition, Studio Makkink & Bey invites three young designers, artists or architects to relate their practice to the archive. As an addition to the selected archival pieces (Something Old) Dressed by Architects presents three works: a working area for one of the intervention guests (Something New), a site-specific installation of works on loan (something Borrowed) and an experiment (Something Blue). In this forth episode Lissa Zengerink, Yuri Veerman en Philip Lüschen realise interventions with which they confront the historical materials from the collecton Monuments to Peace.
70 years Liberation
On May 5, the Netherlands celebrates 70 years of liberation and freedom. Prior to that celebration, on May 4, all over the country people come together at one of the many war memorials to commemorate the victims of the war years 1940-1945.
This project is made possible in part thanks to the generous support of the BankGiro Loterij. Its financial contribution helps to enhance the public visibility of Het Nieuwe Instituut's collection.
Het Nieuwe Instituut