Skateboarding transforming the urban landscape
Reclaiming the streets with boards
One moment skaters pop up next to you, and the next moment they're gone. Because every skater follows it's own way to ride the streets and use all kind of obstacles in their advantage to move forward through the urban landscape. Showroom Mama in Rotterdam use that aspect for the project Endless City.
Endless City is a project in which they investigate the relationship between skateboardculture, public space and (visual) arts. The project already runs a couple of years. Two years ago Showroom Mama presented 720˚, an exhibition by Gyz La Rivière. 720˚ told a story of freedom, growing up, friendship and grasping opportunities or missing chances.
The main thing during the exhibtion was 12, a documentary on the Dutch skateboard pioneers and trendsetters the Fret Click. A tight group of friends with roots in the Randstad and Eindhoven area. From the early nineties on they established a reputation of juvenile mischief, inventiveness on the skateboard and as predecessors of many trends in youth culture. Several members are now well known in populair culture. Woei has the most exclusive sneakerestore in Rotterdam and sponsors several rap-artists. Parra is an artist that designs for brands such as Nike and Vans.
The other half of the installation was focused on the life of Louisa Menke, one of the few professional female skateboarders and also a photographer. There was also an exhibition of a series of photos by her.
Next Showroom Mama organised the competition: Reclaiming the Streets. Students, artists, skateboarders and designers from around the world were invited to submit ideas and designs for an object or an adaptation to the urban public realm in order to allow skateboarders and others to playfully make use of public space. Those ideas were exhibited last year.
Twist & Shout
Last week saw the launch of the book which collects al the ideas from Reclaiming the Streets. It features all of the nominees, but also an article by architectural historion Ian Borden about the playful principles of the competition and a chapter about the rise of skateboard culture in the eighties by Jocko Weyland. Off course the photos by Louisa Menke is also part of the book together with pics by Koen Taselaar.
Foto Teaser: Gyz La Riviere
Foto 1: Louisa Menke
Foto 4 en 5: Petra Valdimarsdóttir/Post Editions