WOW

Leonard v Munster

Leonard van Munster worked at WOW on his project ‘Ile Flottante’; a floating villa with a changing art collection.

by Marlies Buurman

Can you tell us more about yourself and your work?

From 1992 to 1996 I studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. This included an exchange programme to Parsons School of art and Cooper union in New York. The  installations I construct are to be found mostly in public space, where the surroundings play an important role in the work and how it is experienced. I choose locations that suits an already made sketch or I make work especially for a specific location. Although the works at first glance have a cheery or boyish look about them, there is a more sensitive idea at their basis. Recurrent underlying themes are desire, nostalgia and sentiment. The sometimes even comical appearance of my work has the effect of a layer of pink sugar frosting.

This can be witnessed in a desolated place under the highway next to the Wow building were I build a a fata morgana, complete with palm trees, banana trees and where beautiful flowers grow. A waterfall springs from a mountain rock, while the sun is always shining there… But you can’t reach this place. An iron fence makes it inaccessible and everything you see is made out of plastic.If you enter the tunnel you will not see the work. The poles in the terrain cover your view. Only if you’re in the middle of the tunnel and your in front of the work, you will see the totality of the work. This effect reinforces the effect of a mirage.

I built a tree, complete with tree house, on the roof of the 50 meters high Stedelijk Museum when it was housed in the post CS building in Amsterdam [under heaven 01] and in the ‘green Heart’ area of the Netherlands, I floated a log with on it, a fox with a white flag in his paws. [the surrender of Reynard the fox]

The often large objects I make in public spaces can usually be viewed only for a short while. Take for instance, the recently completed work he made especially for The Fabriek in Eindhoven: a 10 meter high waterfall that arises from below the roof and keeps on falling down into a bottomless pond in the middle of the gallery.

Why are you involved in WOW? What interested you?

A wealthy col­lec­tor will build a villa in the Eras­mus Park Canal in Ams­ter­dam West. The villa on the island has large win­dows where cur­tains hang behind. Occa­sion­ally one can peek inside from the shore and take a look at his art collection. The whole construction will be build half size 1:2.

During the rebuilding of the WOW complex I can use one of the ground floors to for constructing the work. After finalization the work will be taken apart like as a puzzle to fit through the door and transported to the Eras­mus Park. Canal. The new installation Ile Flottante is build on invitation by Stadsdeel West. 

What are you most looking forward to being part of WOW?

During the Preview of WOW at June 21, Ile Flottante was on show in the cellar of WOW. An amazing performance in a mystic place, a real WOW experience!

Ile Flottante, under construction at WOW
Floating villa near WOW at Wiltzanghlaan
Tree hut at the rooftop of PostCS
Leonard in his floating villa