The work of Bik Van der Pol explores the potential of art to improve situations, add what is missing or highlight what’s hidden. The result of their research into the notion of generosity was Untitled (Gold), a work which looks at the perceived opposite of generosity – greed. The motto depicted in the work is an extract from a poem by the British poet Thomas Hood, which discusses how gold is a material that continuously tests both our generosity and our greed.
The exhibition at Rotterdam's Witte de With brings together over forty artists who cross the bridges linking art and the aesthetics of crime. Like any good detective story, art history is filled with enigmas, myths, and riddles waiting to be unraveled. Solving these intellectual puzzles is a common pleasure and few are immune to such a cultural temptation.
Although the link between art and crime can be traced back to ancient times, Thomas De Quincey explicitly theorized this connection in his notorious essay “On Murder Considered As One Of The Fine Arts” (1827). The nineteenth century also saw the growing importance of photography both in the development of criminology and in the new sensationalism of the tabloid press—two phenomena that popularized the genre of the detective story. Cinema soon became the perfect medium for capturing the dubious charm of violence and transforming it into pleasurable images.