Please keep it standing thanks
Cecilia van Vliet-Lichtveld (1923-2018) was a children’s book author and actress. The pedestal with the figuration ‘Please keep it standing thanks’’ was inspired by her words during an interview, filmed in Huize Frankendael in 2010, where she lived from 1957 to 2005: ‘Cecilia van Vliet-Lichtveld, last Frankendael resident’.
At the end of a conversation about her memories of her stay in Frankendael, she utters the following complimentary words about the house: ’I hope it’s allowed to stand for a very long time’.
In Dutch, the words for ‘Stand’ and ‘Exist’ are similar in sound and meaning. The pedestal therefore also refers to Frankendael as an important cultural meeting place in Amsterdam Oost over many years. Cecilia van Vliet-Lichtveld spoke fascinatingly and at length about this.
But a direct link is also formed between the artwork on the quay and the location itself, for which the public artwork was specially created: a ‘site-specific’ artwork. ‘Please keep it standing thanks’ becomes an ‘ambiguous’ statement about art, sited in public space for an indefinite time.
It is one of the series of pedestals from the artwork ‘You Are Here’, cast in concrete, simultaneously ‘grave’ and ‘light-hearted’. ‘Please keep it standing thanks’, like for example ‘to all of good will’ with which it is combined, might be a playful commentary or the artistic reaction to what the public occasionally exclaims: ‘Is this art or can we get rid of it?’
Artwork: You Are Here
Artist: Martijn Sandberg
Measurements: (lxwxh) 80cm x 80cm x 40cm
Project: Legacy of the Twentieth Century
Realisation and completion: 2019
Location: Oranje Vrijstaatkade, Oostpoort, Amsterdam
Commissioned by: Amsterdam Municipality, District Oost