Artwork Data


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Ferry Simonis






h. 250 cm

Artwork Location


Mient, Den Haag

City district


GPS data

52.0704965339613, 4.26833435924594 View on map

Artwork Description


As a result of the busy intersection with pedestrian crossings, traffic lights, traffic signs, a flashing light box and electricity box, lampposts and an advertising panel, the steel object 'Shift to the left 1' on the corner of the Mient and the Kamperfoeliestraat is barely noticeable. The sculpture drowns in its surroundings. The wide junction and the metres-high foliage trees that form the backdrop demand all the attention.

But once the sculpture is discovered, it is pleasantly surprised by the subtle intervention that is aptly expressed in the title. Three columns seem to be intersected by a diagonal that shifts the middle segment of the individual columns a few centimetres to the left. It is a subtle intervention with major visual consequences. In fact, because of the shift, the columns are no longer real columns. The lawfulness and symmetrical construction of the three columns is broken. Any logic that might underlie the curious shift is hard to find.

It is striking that the three square columns, which are neatly lined up, do not fall apart but, on the contrary, are connected by the shifted middle pieces. The columns hold on to each other, as it were. The intersection strengthens the experience of rhythm that is connected to the sculpture without disturbing the balance. Ferry Simonis, who manifested himself as an organiser from the beginning of the nineties, had a distinct preference for such interventions. Similar shifts occur in other sculptures as well.

In his sculptures, Simonis strove for a language of form that deviates from the laws of constructivism. To this end, he made minimal interventions in the basic geometric form that serves as a starting point. This creates an area of tension between form and intermediate form. Everything revolves around an effective translation of concepts such as rhythm, repetition, symmetry and dynamics. But unlike "straightforward thinkers", Simonis was looking for subtle deviations, movements and changes in form that defy predictable patterns.