Artist deposits waste at Rabobank


An outdoor sculpture made of rubbish for their new sustainable office in Gorinchem. That’s how Rabobank symbolizes the importance of a circular economy. 

Artist Jan Eric Visser (1962) was commissioned to create the sculpture, shaped like a belfry-like installation of over seven meters high. 

At the heart of his work are five robust capsules, made of 100% waste plastics and filled to the brim with Visser’s own non-organic household refuse. Imagine tins, bags, tubes. The highly porous plastic is called Aquadyne, a British product normally used for drainage, green roofs and green facades. With a hydroponic fertilizer system it may even serve as a substrate for growing vegetables like lettuce. 

Visser has used the speckled black material before to realize a work for Roteb, the cleaning department of the City of Rotterdam. For Rabobank the artist made a separate capsule of Aquadyne to be rolled in their new building by children on the occasion of the unveiling of the new outdoor sculpture. Visser: “A version that will rattle as the waste it contains sits loose and makes noise when the capsule is moved around. As a reference to the sculpture outside it should encourage people to reflect on their choices. The capsule will ideally be wandering through the building, at times present at the reception desk or in one of the reception rooms or perhaps presented in the corporate restaurant”. 

The sculpture carries a lot of symbols. About the masonry of age-old reclaimed river bricks surrounding one of the pillars: “No innovation without tradition”. About the pillars themselves made of eco- concrete and holding the capsules in their place: “Less CO2 emissions. Made of slag from the steelworks and cleansed waste tarmac. You can still see a hint of black in the material”. 

Visser pondering: “With this sculpture I explore a new sort of aesthetics at the borderline of innovation and tradition, timelessness and transitoriness. Waste is our collective capital. I try to express that by depositing my own everyday garbage items  at the bank”. 


Author: Jan Bom. Published in P+ E-zine on 30 May 2014.