Rini Hurkmans
objects sculptures installations
public space

The Bouquet, Monument of Reflection

Photo for The Bouquet, Monument of Reflection, 2001

The Bouquet, Monument of Reflection

Situated on the public green space opposite the Railway Station Vlaardingen-Oost, in the Dutch city of Vlaardingen.

hardened glass, cibachrome transparancy,
stainless steel frame, concrete foundation
250 x 360 x 4 cm

The monument is unveiled on March 2nd, 2001, by the chairman of the National Platform Against Violence in the Public Domain, W.J. Deetman.

For the Monument of Reflection in the city of Vlaardingen the form of a bouquet is chosen because it is a common habit that people bring flowers to the place of an incident when society is confronted with acts of senseless violence. In this way, people show their compassion and express feelings of powerlessness and indignation. Through the spontaneous protest and gesture of bringing flowers, society is incited to discuss senseless violence in daily life.

Here, the bouquet is not made of flowers but is formed by a group of young people on a formal photo. In this age group, most acts of senseless violence are committed and victims found but it is also the group of people who are in the heyday of their life, full of hope, expectations, and idealism.

To give a metaphorical image of society, people from different ethnic backgrounds and classes are photographed.
The models look straight into the camera and they are well dressed, although fashion, aesthetics, or trendiness was not an issue; color was.

The image had to be an orgy of color like a carefully composed summer bouquet. The white sash that the people wear refers to vulnerability, the black band on their arms refers to mourning. Because the photo is contained between two glass plates the viewer will always see his own reflection and thus becomes part of the group.

The photo of this group of people was made on the spot where the monument is situated now. When you are standing on the place from where the photo has been taken one sees the image on the cibachrome life-size and it coincides with the real surroundings. When you walk around the sculpture you notice, because of the static photo, that the surroundings constantly change. One can see busses passing by, people walking, sun and moving clouds, etc. The result is that the work itself constantly looks different.

The image is a transparent layer, a layer of memories put over reality. It is a frozen image of life but at the same time, it makes the viewer conscious of the continuity of life.

Installation view of The Bouquet, Monument of Reflection.

Installation view of The Bouquet, Monument of Reflection.

Detail of The Bouquet, Monument of Reflection.