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Liesbeth Bik & Jos van der Pol

Public Arena.jpg

Liesbeth and Joslive in Rotterdam, and since 1995 have worked collectively as Bik Van der Pol.They are interested in the revitalization of memory in the present, with the circulation of knowledge and how this knowledge is produced. From the time Liesbeth and Jos started investigating the South Dublin area, they noticed the empty stdium, a void in the heart of Tallaght. The stadium and its history became the focal point of their research.

"In 2007 we noticed a half finished site. A nice green pitch, a half built concrete stand, with fences all around. Nothing seemed to happen there, even though it was located in the very heart of Tallaght, where new construction developments – hotels, shops, housing and office facilities – rapidly arose and surrounded this silent site. This site was Tallaght Stadium, a contemporary ruin where time seemed to have frozen.

This site proved to be a major conflict zone, in which two sports clubs (soccer club Shamrock Rovers and the local Gaelic football club Thomas Davis), and South Dublin County Council were the main players.

The construction of Tallaght Stadium began in October 2000, but had been delayed due to financial problems and legal disputes between the two sports clubs. Finally, after a long period of court cases, the first soccer game in the finished stadium took place in spring 2009.

The controversial history over the use of this stadium created a focus on a public space of shared interest: this site was, long before it was brought into use as a community stadium, firmly grounded in Tallaght. This history should not just be erased and forgotten." Bik van der Pol

‘Public Arena’ is a tryptic using three distinct mediums, which explores, animates and celebrates the socio-political journey of Tallaght Stadium.

‘Public Arena’

· a video film (33 min.), made in collaboration with students of Tallaght Community School. The script for this work was compiled from ver batum interviews with people from all sides of the negotiations of the Tallaght Stadium initiative. The video work is accompanied by a publication (designed by David Bennewith) including the script for the work.

· a neon public art work based on the Thomas Davis club motto: Nascann Dúshlán Daoine (Challenge Unites People)

· a live installation and photo shoot with the enormous ball in Tallaght Stadium

For more information see: Public Arena a project for Tallaght stadium

Artist's statement and biography
Re-viewing the re-use of existing and left-over spaces, forms and situations are important strategic tools, through which they critically and constructively address 'normal' situations. Rather than add yet another new idea to the cycle of production and consumption,Liesbeth and Jos aim to revise and re-activate existing situations. Co-operation with specialists and those who are willing to contribute to broadening the impact of a project is indispensable in their way of working. This interaction, resulting in production of knowlegde and shared experiences creates a kind of ‘platform’ for various kinds of communicative activities.They aim to improve situations, add what is missing, highlight what is in the dark and to open rather than close.

Information and knowledge are part of the public domain: things which are concealed seem to influence the public realm, even by their absence or disappearance. For this projectthey are interested in how urban developments inscribe themselves in the daily environment, which consist not only of architecture and landscape, but also of dynamics around migration, culture and transition.They aim to explore the potential, growing from these dynamics, and to find the relationships between human optimism and a vision of the future through notions of construction and destruction. How landscapes have been or will be developed in processes of urbanisation is part of larger global processes. These processes may create a vacuum, a disappearance of that which once was, but they also create a potential. It is fascinating that these potentialities can always be brought back to local specifics.Their interest is to explore and re-activate the site-specifics of these processes with a global outreach, in the ‘local’.

Theirworking method is based on collecting material through archives, interviews with different people, such as local residents, specialists and generalists. Through this collected material we will develop our project. The format of presentation (film, publication, program, installation or exhibition model) is always determined by the research and its outcomes.

For more onBik Van Der Pol'swork as part of In Context 3 visit the Current Projects pages

Bik Van der Pol
(Liesbeth Bik & Jos van der Pol), Vaandrigstraat 10, 3034 PX Rotterdam, NL
P/F +31 10 4146528 / info@bikvanderpol.net / www.bikvanderpol.net

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In Context 3, South Dublin County Council, Tallaght, Dublin 24. | Tel. 01 4149000 | Email Us