atelier van lieshout: cascade
mar 05, 2010
atelier van lieshout: cascade

‘cascade’, 2010

photo © atelier van lieshout



rotterdam-based atelier van lieshout‘s (AVL) newest project is ‘cascade’ an eight-metre tall
sculpture made from polyester. the larger-than-life sculpture consists of eighteen stacked oil drums,
arranged to stand as a monumental column, and which look as if they are descending from the sky
like a waterfall. a syrupy, oil-like mass drips from the large drums, in which one can make out
the shapes of anonymous human figures in dramatic poses. in comparison to the robust contours
of the oil drums, the figures are limp and formless. despite looking fragile, these human-like figures
create the support network of the column, appearing as if they are in a way melting into one another
to form a single entity.

reminiscent of victory columns, the starting point of ‘cascade’ was the pestsäule in vienna –
a monument which celebrates vienna’s 1693 end to the great plague epidemic. AVL’s sculpture
is equally baroque in style, but now the clouds and angels have been replaced by oil drums,
and instead of eminating a joyous mood, ‘cascade’ is sombre in tone. ‘cascade’ is a social statement.
it speaks of the current economic crisis, the exhaustion of raw materials and the bankruptcy
of our consumer society. these interpretations are brought into sharper focus by the sculpture’s location
at the junction of coolsingel and blaak, at the centre of the commercial and financial heart of rotterdam,
in the city’s international port.



transporting ‘cascade’
photo © atelier van lieshout



transporting ‘cascade’
photo © atelier van lieshout



view of ‘cascade’ on the water
photo © atelier van lieshout



‘cascade’ sketch
image © atelier van lieshout



pestsäule in vienna, the starting point for AVL’s sculpture
image courtesy of endie1

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atelier van lieshout (24 articles)

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