In Atelier Van Lieshout’s installation the force of destruction and creation is unavoidable. Objects are smashed up or torn apart, but also reassembled and re-strengthened. Let yourself be lured closer by the sounds of destruction and the jagged shapes of the sculptures.

The central element is the video Cage, which starts with a shot of a cage which has all the functions of a house. A 'house' that took Atelier Van Lieshout over two weeks to build, and only two days to destroy. The heavy gauge tubes of this house are being pushed apart with the use of powerful hydraulic presses, after which the disfigured steel tubes are strengthened and welded anew. In a cycle of construction and destruction, the strict geometry of the original structure is transformed into a final, more organic form.

With Cage, Atelier Van Lieshout refers to the role that humans play in the social systems we have created ourselves. The work is a symbol of resistance against the oppression of the higher power and the quest for independence.

All sculptures and projections in this installation belong to “The End of Everything / Beginning of Everything” series, in which Joep van Lieshout investigates the ambiguous relationship between creation and destruction by devising raw, industrial machines that offer different methods for mechanically destroying objects. These may be interpreted as machines for either construction or destruction, as a negative or positive force, as a break from tradition and a change for the future. The primary goal is to recycle, be it scrap, consumer goods, artworks, even Joep van Lieshout’s own creations. New works emerge from the detritus, illustrating the project’s aim, as van Lieshout puts it, “to destroy, to renew, to start again with what is good, to recycle.”

October 7 to January 8
Thursday to Sunday: 12:00 to 18:00
Closed between December 23 and January 4
Tickets €8 / CJP/Rotterdampas/Friday evening €5
We are Public €0 (PIN ONLY)


The video Cage is made in collaboration with Sonia Herman Dolz.