Atelier Van Lieshout: Let’s Get Physical

Atelier Van Lieshout: Let’s Get Physical

Explore the Merwevierhaven (M4H) area of west Rotterdam through a sculpture route of 30+ largescale sculptures by Atelier Van Lieshout presented at 12 locations including: AVL Mundo Sculpture Park, Weelde, Floating Farm, Keilecafé, Keilepand, De Voedseltuin, Keilewerf, Stichting Dakpark, the Lee Towers and more.

‘Let’s Get Physical’ is a dynamic exploration of the burgeoning industrial Merwevierhaven area in the west of Rotterdam, highlighted through a selection of 30+ Atelier Van Lieshout sculptures at 12 different locations. It is also a celebration of our regained freedom to be outside, to engage with others, and to be physically active.


Atelier Van Lieshout, the studio founded by artist Joep van Lieshout, was one of the first art studios to settle in the Merwevierhaven in the 1980s and continues to expand and foster projects in a district that is now thriving with culture, design and technology innovators.

Among the first projects to bring national and international visitors to M4H was AVL-Ville in 2001 in which the artist declared a self-sustaining, independent state in the port of Rotterdam for a year - creating its own flag, constitution, currency, hospital, workshop for weapons and bombs, farm and slaughterhouse, alcohol production, and homes.

Engage the public with the area

‘Let’s Get Physical’, aims to again creatively engage the public with the area in the west of Rotterdam. This exhibition, a cross section of AVL’s body of work, investigates critical issues of our time and recurring themes in the artist’s repertoire.

From animal welfare in factory farming to our agricultural practices; the organization of a society geared towards premium production efficiency and everincreasing consumption; the body as divine architecture; cycles of life sex, and death. Constant is the tension between society or the system, the individual versus the greater whole.

A cheerful cynicism and a pessimistic utopianism

AVL’s work simultaneously breathes cheerful cynicism and pessimistic utopianism. ‘Let’s Get Physical’ starts at AVL Mundo Sculpture Park which serves as home base with an evolving installation, featuring The Technocrat (2003), a complex closed circuit of food, alcohol, excrement and energy, in which mankind’s waste – and man himself – is used as the raw material for the production of biogas, and Alcoholator (2004), a sculpture to produce thousands of liters of liquor every day to keep the Technocrat participants docile and happy.

The Floating Farm

Milkman (2015) can be seen at the Floating Farm, the world’s first waterborne home for cows and The Sower (2018) stands in the Voedseltuin, a foundation that grows organic fruit and vegetables for Rotterdam’s food bank. The new sculpture Utopia (2020), a prototype robot-warrior, guards one of M4H’s entrances.

Additional works are in site-relevant dialogue throughout the region at additional participating locations, including: Weelde, Keilecafé, Keilepand, Keilewerf, Stichting Dakpark, the Lee Towers, and several publicly accessible venues. Let’s Get Physical runs from 18 July — 4 October 2020. For more information and a map of works and locations can be found at  

18 juli 2020 / 4 oktober 2020
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