About de Nis

De Nis (the niche) is an art project, located at Venlo city hall, starting September 2004 and temporarily ending summer of 2007. During that period, nine Dutch as well as foreign artists will use the two niches at the front and back façade of the medieval building for their artistic interpretations. Just about every three months, new works of art specifically designed for this space are put on display. After the reconstruction of the city hall in 2008 the project will be continued. Nine to twelve (inter)national artists will be asked to create a work of art based upon their perception of Venlo. New artists will be selected each year, in order to let their work gain in topicality.

De Nis has been initiated and developed by the artists’ initiative Het Raam (the Window). The current setup is a result of close cooperation between the Museum van Bommel van Dam, Odapark Venray and the House of Arts Limburg. The project is sponsored by the Venlo community.

Het Raam has initiated several projects in public spaces before. De Nis is a continuation of a development put into action in 1998 as the foundations for the artists’ initiative were laid. The leading objective of Het Raam’s projects is to discuss the position of the expressive arts in public space. With De Nis, this discussion is continued, expanded and made more profound:
First, the project wants to contribute to renewal of the artistic climate by researching the effects of arts in public space. Further it strives to stir up the discussion within the artistic circuit, the public and in politics. Does a work of art have to stay in public space forever, or does a temporary exhibition have more impact? What are the consequences of choosing a temporary work of art in public space? What are the public’s reactions? What is the artist’s attitude towards his/her own work? What position does the work have itself?

The project adapts to current events in Venlo and the Netherlands, and the discussion about art and culture, and the changing cultural policy of the authorities.