Lauren Alexander, Dirk Vis, Ghalia Elsrakbi, Foundland

Public Art

In 2001, Claes Oldenburg was inspired by the vast amount of giant plastic ice cream cones, used as advertising along Cologne's shopping streets. When he was commissioned by a shopping mall in Cologne to create a public artwork for the area, he decided to place a monumental sized ice cream cone, upside down and dripping onto that very shopping mall's entrance.


Giant Pots - Dirk Vis, Lauren Alexander, Ghalia Elsrakbi

Oldenburg has for many years been creating large, provocative objects to fill public parks and universities, distinctly working within the artistic tradition of the pop art movement. The sheer scale and humorous nature of his public sculptures allow the public viewer, for a brief moment, to be placed inside a fantastical surreal scenario.

Following our observations in Amsterdam Noord, Foundland was intrigued by the many giant and "out of scale" objects which we found in public space. These are not the meticulously-planned kind, like that of Oldenburg. In fact, these public works probably go completely unnoticed, in what seems like the dull, banal urban context of Amsterdam Noord. Some public art works appear to be household and garden decoration, while others seem more like government-engineered public art, used to brighten up concrete housing developments. Our hunt for giant objects, or a trip down Alice's rabbit hole, allowed us to imagine the stories and significance of these found art works, mistaken for ordinary urban decoration.