Magazine article Art Monthly

Gifts in the Netherlands

Magazine article Art Monthly

Gifts in the Netherlands

Article excerpt

Is the grass greener across the North Sea? Perhaps not now, even if it was routinely thought to be in the past. But the Dutch state can be relied on to produce some substantial reading matter, critical thinking and case studies for public art and democracy wonks. It comes as a hefty slab, but the official book of the Dutch percentage for art scheme, Present (Episode Publishers, Rotterdam), is intriguing reading for anyone concerned with collaboration between architects and artists and for thinking about art in the public sphere. It covers the years 2004-06 and 107 projects, including Sam Durant's striking signs and photographic indices for the Public Prosecution Service in Arnhem: No Lie Can Live Forever, Tell it Like it Is! and Justice. This is a telling document of the contemporary Dutch state, and the present health or uncertainty in the liberal model it offered. This is openly and undefensively explored in the critical accounts of the works and in the broadness of the selection of artists, Dutch and international, for the schemes. …

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