INFO "Muur van de dichters' (‘The Wall of the Poets’)

Location: Nicolaas Beetsstraat 82 in Amsterdam

Subject of this audiovisual artwork in the public domain are the Dutch Poets from the 19th century. Why is that? The streets of the Borger quarter, where the artwork is situated, are carrying the names of these poets. The idea was to bring their poetry closer to the everyday life in Amsterdam.

The inspiration for the design of this piece came from the Amsterdam doorbells. This work of art is designed to give the impression to the people passing by that the poets still live here. By ringing the bell of one of the poets one gets to hear one of his poems through the boxes installed on the piece.

The idea was also ‘to pick the poem out of the wall’ (in Holland there is an expression to take instant ‘food out of the wall’ in the snack bars) on your way to your job or wherever the business takes you walking by this wall. If you take a minute to listen to it it could be inspiring because of various subjects and it can make one aware of the Dutch national heritage.

Besides these two dimensions: Seeing and Hearing I have decided to add the third one to it to make it even more interactive: we created the interactive website. I also wanted to enable everyone with a smartphone to listen to the poetry while driving in a tram or of course riding a bike.

The poems are read out loud by the poets and actors who live and work in this area and people who are attracted to the theme. The artwork  is active from 9 am to 5 pm.

We also created two extra bells: one is for the children, called ‘child poetry’, read out loud by the pupils of the primary school just around the corner. The other one was created for the English speaking tourists. The poems were read out loud in English by Eddie Woods. These poets were never recognized outside Holland so I figured that this should help. At least a bit.

This project has won a price by Amsterdam City Hall in 2009. The realization of this project took a little over a year.

Danilo Joanovic da Rudna

Materials: Stainless Steal, divers electronics etc,
measurements: 110 cm x 85 cm x 11 cm.
Location: Nicolaas Beetsstraat 82 in Amsterdam