'Corona-proof plan': Dutch museum launches drive-by art show

Exhibition visitors must drive electric cars through an arena housing major works by artists including Bas Princen, Bruce Nauman and Anselm Kiefer

"Boijmans Ahoy drive-thru museum" August 2020 in Rotterdam Ahoy Photo: Courtesy of West8

Visitors keen to see works from the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam will be able to see their favourite pieces soon—from the comfort of a car. Next month, up to 750 visitors per day will ride in electric cars through the 10,000 sq. m Ahoy arena, where more than 40 large-scale works from the collection will be displayed. The initiative is a “corona-proof plan”, say the organisers. 

“In Hall 1 of Ahoy [in Rotterdam], a space the size of almost one and a half football pitches, the works will be arranged as if on a track,” says a project statement. “Visitors will experience the drive-thru exhibition from their own cocoon in the car, strangely enough the means of transport in which people now feel safest.”

The headlights will illuminate the works, many of them sculptures, in the dimly lit space. Organisers stress that the exhibition (1-23 August) is only accessible by electric car; visitors may bring their own or hire a vehicle from a local car dealer.

Works by artists such as Oskar Kokoschka, Paul McCarthy, Bruce Nauman, Ugo Rondinone and Cyprien Gaillard, will go on show along with installations by Bas Princen, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Anselm Kiefer and Olaf Nicolai. Marino Marini's sculpture il cavaliere (1947), Nachtmare (1991) by Karin Arink and Claes Oldenburg's Screwarch (1982) are also due to go on view.

The project makes works from the collection publicly accessible while the museum undergoes an ambitious overhaul (a vast €85m storage depot is currently under construction at the museum which is due to open late 2021).

Last month, the Italian art dealer Massimo Minini organised a drive-thru show in Brescia, inviting 16 artists to create site-specific works for the Art Drive-In Generali exhibition including Mimmo Paladino and Stefano Arienti.