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Sieren Amsterdam (Adorning Amsterdam)

by on January 8, 2010

To mark the occasion of my 43rd birthday I adorned Amsterdam with 43 repetitions of a disembodied quote from Paul Gauguin. They were placed in a variety of spaces as I derived around the city, including public and commercial art galleries; various shops; a hotel lift, lobby and restaurant, and a bicycle, to name just a few locations.


In the Argentine tango “adornos” are the small decorative movements made by the woman without being led or prompted. The words loosely translate as adornments or embellishments or even decoration. In her latest piece D Rosier sought to adorn Amsterdam, creating small oases of ephemeral beauty by adding a line of quotation to unexpected places, in a similar way to the way a female tango dancer will adorn her steps with lovely decorations. This piece was made without undue fanfare, rather the work (dymo label) was discreetly affixed in a range of places. In designing this piece D built in themes relating to the fragility and time limited nature of art

This piece has also links to the recent Turner-prize winning piece by Richard Wright where frescos were applied directly to the wall and their existence was assured only for the moment and would be destroyed at some future point. This creation of transient beauty, art that lives in the moment only, raises several questions in the eyes of the onlooker.

D Rosier’s art as a whole also can be linked to earlier ideas, Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” where the exiled Orlando de Boys attaches verses to the trees of the forest, so that those who passed by could become aware of his feelings. This piece too strewed the walls of Amsterdam’s shops, museums and even the ubiquitous bicycle with a line of thought. So people were made aware that an artist had passed by.

E A Shovelton

One Comment
  1. A really lovely collaboration with Elizabeth: from her being the sole witness to the entire performance, to writing the provenance for the documentation of it.

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