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☰ Edwin Stolk

The Platform
In progress

'The Platform' draws attention to the stories we tell and the architecture that serves these stories.

'The Platform' came about from a collaboration with Project Ruimte Publiek and Museum Stadskasteel Zaltbommel. This plan was initially designed for the month of July in the Sint Maartenskerk. Due to circumstances, unfortunately, it cannot take place in the church. In order to realize this thought experiment, I am looking for new possibilities at the moment.

In 2021 I visited Zaltbommel several times and became fascinated by the stately stairs of the platform in front of the old town hall. In the regional archive of Museum Stadskasteel Zaltbommel I saw this platform in photos at various historical events. At this elevation, power presented itself to the people. Today we pass by without giving it much thought.

Sketch 'The Platform'

When I visited the monumental Saint Martin's Church, the pulpit caught my eye. Both the platform on the market and this pulpit in the church formed the backdrop on which political and religious leaders gave direction to the people. Today they are important as a national monument and waiting for a new destination.

This is how 'The Platform' came about. The title is inspired by the painting 'The Balcony' by Édouard Manet. Manet married the Dutch Suzanne Leenhoff in the St. Martin's Church. Their marriage was most probably recorded in the old town hall of Zaltbommel.

On the platform are two lions each carrying a coat of arms. The lion is a popular heraldry animal. The lion represents courage and the animal is usually depicted climbing. In the book 'De zetel der vroede vaderen', published under the editorship of M. Witteveen-Jansen, I read the following about a restoration of the platform in 1982.

"The two sandstone lions each carrying a coat of arms, which were in poor condition, were replaced by the current bluestone lions, made by the sculptor A.A.H. Geerlings."

"The old lions are still in the possession of the municipality. It is recommended to preserve them carefully, because with recent methods (e.g. the Ibach method) these lions can be well restored and possibly exchanged again, although that is very expensive. For budgetary reasons this was not possible now."

Since two other but similar lions were placed on the original platform in 1982, I propose to show the original lions on a replica of the platform. The original statues are today at the entrance of the new municipality office. With this thought experiment I want to make the meaning of this reversal tangible.

With 'The Platform' I want to focus on our relationship with this elevated architecture. 'The Platform' thus draws attention to the stories we tell and the architecture that serves these stories.

Sketch 'The Platform'

In January 2022, nothing seemed to stand in the way of the realization of 'The Platform' in the Sint Maartenskerk. Unfortunately it turned out differently. Now that the space in the church is not available for this thought experiment in July, I am looking for new possibilities. I would prefer to realize 'The Platform' together with people from Zaltbommel. Will you help? Please feel free to contact me.

'The Platform' is made possible by: Project Ruimte Publiek, Museum Stadskasteel Zaltbommel, Saint Martin's Church, Marco Beetstra and could use your help! Your (company) name here? Do not hesitate to contact me when you are interested to collaborate!

'The Platform' was mentioned in the following press:

'The Platform' follows the concept behind #theorganisation.

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Best regards, Edwin Stolk.