Willem de Rooij, Beverwijk (NL), 1969
Lives and works in Berlin (DE)
Route Along 18 Corners, 1993/2010
Courtesy of the artist
Route along 18 Corners belongs to a long tradition in which artists reflect on the conditions of the exhibition space. The work is a brochure setting out a route along 18 corners of galleries and exhibition spaces on the ground floor of the Stedelijk Museum building. De Rooij made the brochure as a sketch while studying at the Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, and it is specially presented in the Stedelijk for the first time in Taking Place. Now that the museum has been renovated, the meaning of the work has changed. The 1993 brochure featured the reddish herringbone parquet floor of the old Stedelijk, with impromptu fragments of whitewashed walls, baseboards and power outlets. The new oak parquet is lighter, broader and laid in a different pattern; the baseboards are recessed and the power points are concealed. Where De Rooij’s guided tour originally intended to put the museum itself on exhibit by highlighting unobserved details, the work now offers us a glimpse of the history of the building, prior to the renovation.