Two Giant Statues Come to Life in Amsterdam

GATEKEEPERS, Irma de Vries, New Amsterdam Light Festival, 2014

Two inverted 15′ tall statues were given the gift of almost human-like life at the Amsterdam Light Festival. Thanks to projection mapping artist Irma de Vries, the GATEKEEPERS installation, set in front of the Hermitage Amsterdam, is a love letter to Dutch history made in the likeness of Pieter Pietersz Hasselaer, a public servant elected as Amsterdam’s mayor a whopping 12 times back in the 16th Century.

“The two ‘gatekeepers’ represent the dual nature of the Dutch Golden Age. This era was a thriving time for the Netherlands,” de Vries told The Creators Project. She went on to explain how the vivid installation represents scientific discoveries like red blood cells and star systems, political and economic promise in Europe, and social justice and compassion to citizens and neighbors. “GATEKEEPERS should remind one of the importance in connection, between zeitgeists, people, and eras,” she continued. “It is time to bring people together so that we can work creatively on the future.”

The projected patterns take the forms of other Dutch historical figures and texts about the country’s history, and are accompanied by occasional blasts of cannon fire, all overlaid with a mix of psychedelic patterns and swirls that make the history lesson into a memorable audiovisual spectacular.