Produced during a two week residency at Outhouse, an external building curated by Outpost Gallery as part of Contemporary Art Norwich 2009, Fuck You Rotterdam! was something of a retort to the imminent UN Climate Change Conference (COP 15). Setting up camp in the boiler room at the top of the building, we discussed tirelessly the possible junctures between science, politics, activism and art. There were a number of objects already in the room, disused ring binders, pillows, pot-plants and camping tables - and the sticky air and poor lighting was suggestive of the lower deck on a ship.
One of the most important references for the work was a discussion that we had had with a gentleman in Rotterdam, who spoke of the Netherlands history of controlling water at its shores and ‘creating’ land where previously there had been none. He also spoke of his anguish, in light of the rising sea-levels, that in the near future his homeland will be submerged.
Fuck You Rotterdam! was our response to this, to the introduction of empathy and the reification of the threat of a change in the global climate. We decided to hack up the some of the work-benches and fashion a shipping crate and emblazon it with the logo Fuck You Rotterdam! We sourced two life-jackets and had them emblazoned with the logo. On the final night of the residency the door of the boiler room was open to the public and large pot of muscles was served in the lobby. The crate was then sent to Sixten Kai-Nielson and Martin Rosengaard of Wooloo.org, as a comment on their responsibility facilitating the New Life Copenhagen, a festival of contemporary art which ran concurrently to COP15.
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