Aaltje Noorderwierstraat, Den Haag
52.055231275738, 4.2339440902304 View on map
In 1992 Albert Goederond presented his sculpture for a police station in The Hague: a bronze bear. The artist said that the sculpture had been created, not invented. It probably came out of his exploratory talks with the police and the public. The bear is reminiscent of a good-natured policeman (standing wide-legged with his hands behind his back), a cuddly bear or a tough police officer, and is recognisable as such to everyone. If it is cold, it even gets a tie on. With the figurative, public-friendly image, Goederond defied conventional notions of what art should be; usually only readable by 'insiders'. The figurative bear also formed a great contrast with Goederond's earlier work, which was geometrically abstract in nature. His growing doubts about the development of autonomous visual art, and with it, unique, stand-alone art, made him choose a different path.
Since 1993, Goederond has been collaborating under the pseudonym 'LaSalle' with artist Patty Struik and a changing team of collaborators. In 1994, for example, 'LaSalle' produced manhole covers with footsteps and bird's feet and various reliefs on houses in the 'Hidden Zone' of Amersfoort's Kattenbroek district. For the new housing estate Leidschenveen in The Hague, LaSalle devised a seven-part work of art in 2012 that is spread across the estate.
LaSalle' can be seen not only as a brand name, but also as the 'spiritual and physical space in which interactions take place'. New perspectives are created through dialogue and that is essential according to Goederond. We let the identity as artist dissolve in favour of the collective identity', he said in 1997. With the bear, which the police and the public have appropriated as a mascot, this goal already seems to have been achieved.