Art@Site Jan de Baat Amsterdam Dankt Zijn Canadezen

Jan de Baat


Amsterdam Dankt Zijn Canadezen

Happiness, proudness and joining the community
The artwork refers to liberation and the first moments of happiness. If it had also been the intention to commemorate the impact of liberation, there would have been made a more monumental artwork.
We see a lovely line full of expression, power and elegance. A line that almost coquettish tends sideways, then speeds up and turns around the axis, changes from vertical to horizontal moving, than returns and firmly holds a volume, makes a caper just before slowly moving loosely in the wind. It seems to me that the artist follows the movements of the men who are celebrated by this work: Canadians who liberated Amsterdam. The experiences of these liberators might have had like boredom, fear, terror, acceleration, euphoria and also a farewell.
The material is as honest as can be: metal without any finish. This makes the image honest and pure.
When driving through the stately Churchilllaan to the Apollolaan, the route follows a curve and leads onto this gem in a small park. While making the curve you are invited to give a quick glance to the park and the artwork. The location could have been more monumental and this would make the impact of the statue greater. But still this location fits well to the statue. Everyone remembers the images of our liberators that drove into our cities; packed with celebrating people and flags during spring with it’s fresh green. This could just as well been in the Churchilllaan.
I wonder what the role of the artwork is during the commemorations of war and peace. To me the artwork does not refer to an actual struggle or war. The artwork is just celebrating. If the artwork would reflect on anger, resistance and peace it would have more meaning and power to guide and give freedom.
By Theo,

Compared with other artworks
One of the most classic works in honor of the conqueror is a monument like Porta Sempione by Luigi Cagnola (Milan, picture 1, more information). The monumentality is enforced by the size, the experience of being tiny when moving underneath the monument, the use of sustainable materials, the ascending lines that end up onto classic images of warriors of the highest rank that move themselves with horses.

Forming together a column by perfect circles laying portrait and landscape and perfect spherical elements in between: Fontana Camerlata by Mario Cesare Cattaneo (Milan, picture 2, more information). Together with additional elements, the may have meanings like remembrance, positivity, strength, pride. The meanings are so general that it can be interpreted and made concrete in many ways.

My impression is that a work like Monumento Resistenza by Anna Praxmayer (Milan, picture 3, more information) with a person and birds, has impact on people who are less familiar with art. This is because the work has some recognizable elements which meanings to be assigned like: running, raised hands, looking up, long hair, birds flying to all directions. This artwork rather expresses a personal or a national victory.

Because of the use of modern and colorful materials in Wonderline by Francesco Roggero (Milan, picture 4, more information) the artwork relates to an enjoyable recent event. Because of choice of the bright colors, the limited durability of the material, the reference to practical items like a sail, this artwork refers rather to mundane than to essential topics.

In many ways the work is similar to Skygate Robert Barr (San Francisco, see picture 5, more information). This work, however, is rougher finish. The line is not always in tension. The work refers to the wind, the sails, the waves and thus to the underlying port.

Another work with additional qualities The Arch of Lon Pennock (Amsterdam, see picture 6, more information). This work welcome, is a recognition did point but misses the subtlety of the Loop.
The work is hardly comparable to Pyramid of Josef Erben (Berlin, picture 7, more information). More of the power, the self esteem and the spaciousness had been allowed to have the bow-shaped object.

The artwork Loop-Shaped Object by Otto Heuvelink (Amsterdam, picture 8, more information) wants to overcome gravity. The fact that there may occur beauty out of the earth. The work is called a loop-shaped object. This name is neutral for an artwork that caresses the eye. The work is I feel humble; it could have been more established. Then it could refer to a flower.
By Theo,
Het staal is een verwijzing naar de onverzettelijkheid, het uitwaaieren van de wimpel naar de in ere herstelde bewegingsvrijheid.
Op 8 mei 1945 trokken duizend Canadezen Amsterdam binnen. Ze werden verwelkomd door ongeveer een half miljoen Amsterdammers die uitbundig vlagden. In 1980 werd de Canadese intocht overgedaan langs dezelfde route als destijds: via de Berlagebrug, de Apollolaan, de Van Baerlestraat, het Leidseplein en de Singel naar de Dam. Als blijk van dank werd op de Apollolaan bij die gelegenheid dit monument onthuld door burgemeester Polak en de Canadese luitenant-kolonel Bell Irving.
Deze stalen wimpel is het symbool van dankbaarheid. In 8 mei 1945 kwam deze dankbaarheid tot uitdrukking toen duizend Canadezen Amsterdam binnentrokken. Bij deze intocht werden de Canadezen verwelkomd door ongeveer een half miljoen Amsterdammers. In 1980, 35 jaar later, werd deze bevrijding gevierd en werd de Canadese intocht overgedaan langs dezelfde route als destijds. Via de Berlagebrug, de Apollolaan, de Van Baerlestraat, het Leidseplein en de Singel naar de Dam. Als blijk van dank aan de Canadese bevrijders werd op de Apollolaan dit monument geplaatst. Het uitwaaieren van de wimpel is een verwijzing naar de toekomst en als teken van de bewegingsvrijheid die in 1945 in ere was hersteld. Het monument werd op 5 mei 1980 onthuld door burgemeester Polak en de Canadese luitenant-kolonel Bell Irving.

De Baat: 'Ik ging op de aangewezen plek in het gras zitten, keek omhoog en zag dat enorme wak van licht en lucht. Bijna nergens in Amsterdam is zo’n plek te vinden. Ik moet de ruimte in, dat was mijn eerste gedachte. En toen kwam het idee: ik wilde een wimpel in dat wak.'

Ons Amsterdam:
De Baat vertelde het volgende over zijn werkwijze: 'Ik wilde weten hoe een wimpel golft. Ik huurde een grote blaasmachine en verbond die met slangen aan pijpjes. Ik plaatste wimpels van papier, rubber, zeil,enz. Die blies ik onder verschillende hoeken aan en filmde ze. Zo kreeg ik honderden zwart-wit dia’s die ik op de muur projecteerde. Het vervolg was bijna dramatisch. Ik ging met mijn vrouw aan tafel zitten en zei: 'Zet maar een bak koffie want ik kom er niet uit.' Ik nam potlood en papier om te schetsen wat het probleem was, zette een paar lijnen en… plotseling had ik hem getekend! Ik was zelf zo'n wimpel geworden dat ik hem ineens uit de hand op papier kon zetten.'
The steel is a reference to the intransigence, the fan out of restored freedom of movement to the pennant.
On 8 May 1945 drew thousand Canadians Amsterdam within. They were welcomed by about half a million people of Amsterdam that exuberant vlagden. In 1980, the Canadian entry at the time along the same route as redone: via the Berlage bridge, the Apollolaan, the Van Baerlestraat, the Leidseplein and the Singel to the Dam. As a token of thanks was on the Apollolaan on that occasion this monument unveiled by Mayor Polak and the Canadian Lieutenant-Colonel Bell Irving.
This steel pennant is the symbol of gratitude. In May 8, 1945 to express this gratitude came when thousand Canadians entered Amsterdam. At this entry about half a million Canadians were welcomed by Locals. In 1980, 35 years later, this liberation was celebrated and the Canadian entry was redone along the same route as back then. Through the Berlage bridge, the Apollolaan, the Van Baerlestraat, the Leidseplein and the Singel to the Dam. As a token of thanks to the Canadian liberators was placed on the Apollolaan this monument. The fan out of the pennant is a reference to the future and as a sign of the freedom of movement in 1945 in honour was restored. The monument was unveiled by Mayor Polak on 5 May 1980 and the Canadian Lieutenant-Colonel Bell Irving.

De Baat: "I went on the preferred place in the grass, looked up and saw that huge hole of light and air. Almost nowhere to find in Amsterdam is one such place. I need the space in, that was my first thought. And then came the idea: I wanted a pennant in that hole."

Ons Amsterdam:
De Baat told the following about his working method: "I wanted to know how a pennant waving. I rented a large bladder machine and connected those with hoses to pipes. I placed pennants of paper, rubber, cloth, etc. That I blew under different angles on and filmed them. So I got hundreds of black and white slides that I projected on the wall. The sequel was almost dramatic. I went with my wife sitting at the table and said:"make me a cup of coffee because I'm out." I took pencil and paper to sketch out what the problem was, put a few lines and ... suddenly I had him signed! I became a pennant by myself by drawing it by hand on paper."