Drive-thru art exhibits pick up in Rotterdam : Boijmans Ahoy Drive-Thru Museum offered fans a ride of a lifetime.

In a typical year, the Rotterdam Ahoy, exhibition halls in the Netherlands host a wide variety of events.

This past May, the Eurovision Song Contest should have filled the halls, had it not been for the pandemic. A classical music trade fair and an event for the port and shipping industry were also scheduled and and then axed because of the coronavirus.

And so, the exhibition halls remained empty - that is, until teaming up with the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen to present a large scale art exhibition that can only be visited in an electric car, reported DW.

The 'Bolhmans Ahby Drive-Thru Museum, 'which opened to the public on August 1, was a fortuitous collaboration. The Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam had been waiting for the opportunity to present its artworks, which range from medieval pieces to contemporary pieces.

Its building had been undergoing extensive renovations since 2019 and works from its 150,000 strong collection had been touring exhibitions at schools and other museums until the pandemic hot.

A large transformation :

At 33,000 square feet, the Ahoy Rotterdam is roughly the size of two soccer fields. As such, it became clear early in the planning phase that driving through the exhibition would be the idea way to visit such a large space.

Only electric vehicles enter, and those without their own electric cars can simply borrow one on site. Up to 750-vehicles are allowed in per day.

The experience of visiting Boijman's Ahoy is unique in many respects. While driving through the darkened hall, car headlights occasionally cross from a distance. Like an artistic game of hide and seek, the 40 artorks emerge from the darkness, such as the painting of a mandrill monkey by Austrian artist Oskar Kokoschka.

The museum, however, isn't the first to present the drive-through model. Earlier this summer, event organisers in Toronto put on a drivable exhibition dedicated to Vincent Van Gogh.

The tension between man and nature :

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen opened in 1649 as a space to house the collections of art collectors Frans Jacob Otto Boijmans, a lawyer and Daniel George van Beuningen, a ship owner.

Many of the paintings, sculptures and video installations involved in the current show touch on the topic of confrontations between humans and nature.

With the coronavirus, presumably transmitted from animals, is currently keeping humanity on tenterhooks, the works on show explored this field.

In he video installation, Nummer acht [Everything is going to be alright], Dutch artist Guido van der Werve walks on ice as while a huge ship ploughs behind him.

In the video installations Springtime, Jeroen Eisinga sits quietly and with closed eyes in front of the viewer while hundreds of bees lay siege to his arms, neck and head. The make the video and attract the bees, the Dutch artist had previously sprayed himself with scents of queen bees.

One might assume that because the encounter with the artworks takes place from a car seat or window, it is impersonal. But this is not the case. Audio from the video installations as well as additional information about each piece can be heard on each car's radio and there are no obnoxious visitors blocking views to artworks with selfie sticks. 

Those without a driver license need not fear. There was also the option to be chauffeured in through the exhibition in one of the museum's vehicles. The exhibition ran until August 23.

The World Students Society thanks News Desk, The Express Tribune.


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