Polder Football

Everyone is invited to play football new style. Spanish artist Maider López (1976) will be transforming the Dutch polder landscape into a football field with natural obstacles. On September 4th, the typical Dutch landscape of meadows and ditches will be the setting for a rather absurd tournament. Teams of artists, football lovers or friends will compete for the so-called Polder Cup.

“With Polder Cup, López will be playfully combining the Dutch love of football, water and consensus culture. In the polders near Ottoland in the Province of South Holland, she will paint football pitches on the surrounding pastureland. Ditches will cut right across the pitches forcing players to come up with new rules and new tactics. The Polder Cup is set to rejuvenate international footballing language. As López explained, the rules of football are in part determined by the shape of the pitch. If you change that shape, the rules are automatically changed along with the game of football as we know it. It will become a new game. The players will have to come up with new tactics, thereby reinventing the sport of football.”

Besides a re-invention of the football game, the project re-invents the Dutch landscape by adding another spatial pattern with a completely different significance. The rather practical traditional function of this landscape, which is producing milk and organizing the water, is strongly expressed. Other uses like recreation and fun are rarely discovered in these functional Dutch landscapes.

“Anyone can join the Polder Cup, as either player or spectator, individually or in groups completely free of charge. You may choose to participate as a group of friends, or as an existing football team. For all participants there will be free food and drink, a T-shirt and a souvenir in the form of a Polder Cup photograph, personally signed by Maider López. The actual football matches will be played throughout the day, according to the players’ own discretion, and subject to limited rules. If the match day is preceded by a long period of heavy rainfall, the event may be postponed. Registration will be open for a limited period between 3 June and 15 August. However, the number of places is limited, so signing up on time is of the essence!”

The Polder Cup is organised by SKOR (Foundation for Art and Public Space) and contemporary art center Witte de With. It is part of the joint project ‘Between You and I’ which involves four international artists: AES+F, Ayse Erkmen, Isa Genzken and Maider López.