Op Drift/Adrift

Installation Op Drift, Waag Deventer 2021
The Museum de Waag in Deventer showed the site-specific installation Op Drift in 2021, which was presented in the context of IJsselbiënnale.
Installation containing 36 prints of vehicle tires. Size of each print 75×290 cm. Prints hanging free and backward in the space.  Printing ink on Hahnemühle aquarelic paper, 300 gr/m2. Used vehicle tires hidden behind transparent paper.

Short description

Central to our work is the focus on mobility as a landscape-shaping force. Within the context of the IJsselbiennale in 2021, this takes on an additional layer of meaning: the climate crisis that is partly fed by our human addiction to mobility, especially as far as fossil fuel-driven motorized traffic is concerned. What is striking about the 36 prints the installation consists of is a two-way presence of gravity: The tires press horizontally on the paper; the water, on the other hand, runs across the paper in the vertical plane. Mobility takes place in two directions. The tires ride over the paper in one direction; the water flows at a 90-degree angle thereon. We made a considered and visually aesthetic as well as content-based choice for the types of tires to use. We chose used car tires, tractor tires, and tires from bicycles, mopeds, and lawnmowers. Each tire brings its own layer of meaning and imagery. The printings were made over two weeks and on location in The Waag basement.

Artistic Motivation 

Printing is an artisanal process, simultaneously influenced by a conceptual and theatrical/performance way of working. Moreover, we realize we could only have arrived at this way of working with our background in digital location media. Just as photography began to exert its influence on painting, we now create printmaking influenced by the digital location media we have worked extensively with.


Listen to Wim Eikelboom’s podcast (in Dutch) hosted by Deventer Verhaal with reflections on landscapedepiction by the curatorial (PolakVanBekkum) and design (Johan Akkerman)  team and spcial guest Frederique Grotenhuis of Architectuurcentrum Rondeel .

Adrift (Op Drift) in Museum de Waag in Deventer has been beautifully described by writer and filmmaker Peter Delpeut: a beautiful installation by PolakVanBekkum in the basement of Museum de Waag in Deventer. The theme of mobility is enigmatically and poetically depicted in friezes that evoke associations with Bauhaus or Islamic geometric patterns, while they are simply the profile prints of car tires — in formidable blue.
In the upstairs room, they brought together some thirty paintings from the (chronically underrated) Knecht-Drenth collection. 


The prints were made on location: For two weeks we did set up an tire printing facility in the basement of The Waag. Follow the process in 6 video’s:


Walk with Esther through the Exhibition. She explains in Dutch how we curated a selection from the Knecht-Drenth collection and how this selection relates to our installation.


Knecht-Drenth Collection
In 2003, the married couple Tijmen Knecht and Hélène Drenth donated a collection of 746 paintings, prints, and drawings to Deventer. The collection consists of Dutch landscapes from the modern era, which depict the significant changes in the Dutch landscape from the 19th century onward.

We were asked to make a selection from the collection and respond with a new work of our own to the contemporary landscape and the 2021 IJsselbiennale theme of Tij, Tijd en Tijdelijkheid (Tide, Time and Temporality).


Photo: Johan Akkerman


Presentation history 

2001, Museum De Waag, Deventer, Nederland


Exhibition Design: Johan Akkerman
Thanks to: Koen Bril, Mieke Conijn, Anne van Geuns, Esmay Groot Koerkamp, Josien in ‘t Hof, Ewout van der Horst, André Kodde en Bart Koldewee

Financial support