Flying Pins

Intersection of John F. Kennedylaan and Fellenoord, Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Commissioned by Gemeente Eindhoven Dienst Maatschappelijke en Culturele Zaken and Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, the Netherlands

Steel, fiber-reinforced plastic, polyvinyl chloride foam; painted with polyester gelcoat and polyurethane enamel
Eleven elements in an area approximately 123 ft. (37.5 m) long x 65 ft. 7 in. (20 m) wide;
ten pins, each: 24 ft. 7 in. (7.5 m) high x 7 ft. 7 in. (2.3 m) widest diameter;
ball: 9 ft. 2 in. (2.8 m) high x 22 ft. (6.7 m) diameter

Installed April-May 2000

Flying Pins, 2001 Flying Pins, 2001 Flying Pins, 2001

Statement by the Artists
Flying Pins drawing

As part of a celebration of its achievements at the brink of the new millennium, the city of Eindhoven, in the south of the Netherlands, had commissioned us to create what its officials referred to as an "eye-catcher." Rebuilt after heavy bombing attacks during World War II, the city had grown into an important commercial center of the European Union by the end of the twentieth century. Its renowned contemporary art collection, the Van Abbemuseum, was adding a new wing and the city was planning to host the 2000 European Championship soccer tournament.

Flying Pins We chose as our site the median of the Kennedylaan, the main boulevard leading into the city center, facing a busy intersection in front of a high-rise business complex. The grass-covered space was planted with trees and was wide enough to serve as a park, although it was surrounded by the continuous flow of traffic. The site is flanked on one side by a prominent bank and on the other by a lively university campus, a location that projected maximum civic energy.
Flying Pins model

In search of a subject to embody the ubiquitous movement characteristic of the surroundings, we focused on some form of sport or game. Soccer was too obvious a choice and not suited to the limitations of the space. Instead we selected bowling, which had the advantage that the "players" in the strike, the game's climactic event, were all objects, and therefore suitable to our type of sculpture. The game also fit the location because the movements of inbound vehicles on the Kennedylaan could be equated with the imagined roll of a ball in a bowling lane. ("Laan," in fact, is the Dutch word for "lane.")

flyingpins, 2007 flyingpins, 2007 flyingpins, 2007 flyingpins, 2007

For Flying Pins Coosje chose as our image the immediate aftermath of the strike, when the ball drops out of sight while the pins are still flying. The simultaneous upward and downward movement was emphasized by having the ball and two of the pins partially buried in the ground. The uppermost pins were positioned horizontally to convey the greatest sensation of speed. Because the weather in the Netherlands is often gloomy, especially during long winters, Coosje selected an intense yellow color for the pins, inspired by the daffodils that emerge in the spring to light up the site.


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