On World Refugee Day, Sunday June 20, Mayor of Rotterdam Aboutaleb will unveil a new work of art in Rotterdam. L'Âge d'Or (2019) by Young British Artist Gavin Turk will be installed on the bank of the Maas, directly opposite the future FENIX Museum of Migration
. L'Âge d'Or is an open door made of painted bronze and measuring over 3.5 metres tall. This larger-than-life door will soon offer a view of the Maas, beckoning towards the North Sea and the Atlantic crossing. FENIX is providing the work on long-term loan to Sculpture International Rotterdam of the Rotterdam City Council.
The Wilhelminapier in the Kop van Zuid district is an ideal location. In the 19th and 20th centuries, more than three million emigrants passed through the port of Rotterdam for the other side of the world. From all over Europe, they departed from Rotterdam to start a new life. At this location L'Âge d'Or represents hope, dreams and opportunities, like a door that is always open. A door with no building, but as a symbolic transition between two imaginary worlds, the old and the new. After the unveiling on June 20, everyone is welcome to step through the door and fantasize about the future. The new acquisition will stand in close proximity to the sculpture Lost Luggage Depot (2001) by Jeff Wall. This monumental sculpture was donated at the time by the Dutch State. Against the historic façade of Hotel New York, both ends of the Wilhelminapier will henceforth be adorned with a sculpture that preserves the memory of the past, while looking to the future.
Along with Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst, Gavin Turk (1967) is counted among the Young British Artists. He elevates the everyday to art and plays with the context of the objects he presents. The sculpture L'Âge d'Or was acquired at Frieze Sculpture in London in October 2020.
The placing of the artwork is a collaboration between the City of Rotterdam, CBK Rotterdam BKOR/SIR and FENIX.
FENIX is located in the Fenixloods II in Rotterdam. The monumental warehouse is currently being restored, so that the museum can open to the public in a few years' time. In the immediate vicinity of the former storage and trans-shipment warehouse, millions of people boarded passenger ships for departure to a new destination. FENIX celebrates all this movement and all the emotions it evokes. Love, hope and adventure inspire people all over the world to pack their bags. From a Rotterdam perspective, FENIX is actively building a collection of international (contemporary) art, photography and historical objects that bring these stories to life. FENIX is an initiative of the Droom en Daad Foundation.