Lily van der Stokker: Call of the Mall: Art In Hoog Catharijne & Utrecht Central Station

“Call of the Mall: Art in Hoog Catharijne & Utrecht Central Station”
June 20 – September 22, 2013
Hoog Catharijne & Utrecht Central Station, The Netherlands

The international art exhibition Call of the Mall will take place at one of the busiest crossroads in the Netherlands: shopping mall Hoog Catharijne and Utrecht Central Station. New work by more than 25 national and international artists will be displayed in the halls, on the walls, under and on top of the roofs, and within the hidden cavities of Hoog Catharijne.

Artists Christian Jankowski, Henrik Vibskov, Wilfredo Prieto, Antonio Vega Macotela, Sylvie Fleury, Robbie Cornelissen, Nathan Coley, Pilvi Takala, Fernando Sanchez Cadstillo, Gabriel Lester, Melle Smets, John Miller, Troika, Bik Van der Pol, Matthew Darbyshire, Krijn de Koning, Ligna, Lily van der Stokker and many others have created new work that reflects on Hoog Catharijne as an area embodying our current times. Economic changes, failings of existing structures, transformations in personal relationships; these are some of the topics that are manifest in the art works and that relate to the area in which Call of the Mall takes place.

Most people have a strong reaction to Hoog Catharijne: you either love it or you hate it. When it opened forty years ago, it was Europe’s largest indoor shopping centre. Thanks to its luxurious interior design—marble floors and walls, palm trees, an aviary, roof gardens, art and a bronze fountain, even a small theatre—a visit to Hoog Catharijne was an experience. However, the grand dame has lost much of her charm in the course of time, and a major renovation is now taking place of the entire area surrounding the train station. Call of the Mall is happening at the height of the (re)construction of the Utrecht CS and Hoog Catharijne.

Exhibiting art in Hoog Catharijne and Utrecht CS means presenting in a place brimming with social, political and cultural significance and tensions. Everything is clamouring to be seen and everyone is busy doing something. A number of works jump out at the passersby, such as a spectacular ‘rope fountain’ by the London-based design collective Troika. Other artworks by Germaine Kruip and Ester van de Wiel offer the public a glimpse of otherwise off-limits places such as the roofs and the expedition cellar. A new film by Gabriel Lester can be seen in the shopping centre’s own Mirliton Theater. The exhibition also offers a programme of one-time presentations and performances.

Call of the Mall is organised in collaboration with the municipality of Utrecht.