Bik Van der Pol – Public Arena

Book coverBik Van der Pol – Public Arena
Book coverBik Van der Pol – Public Arena
Book coverBik Van der Pol – Public Arena
Book coverBik Van der Pol – Public Arena

Behind this simple stapled folder lies the story of two football clubs in Dublin that became embroiled with each other and the local authority in a battle for a new stadium. For years, the stadium in question stood half completed like a wounded ruin surrounded by the district of Tallaght, amongst the new buildings going up all around it. Artist duo Bik Van der Pol turned this spot into the starting point for a project that consisted, in addition to this publication, of a video made with the assistance of pupils from the local secondary school, a neon work and an event in the stadium. Both book and film turn on a series of interviews on the subject of the stadium, the clubs and the local community. 

The book contains the texts of the edited interviews, placed in two columns on the page, alternating with full page portraits of the schoolkids on translucent drawing paper. 


The panel praised the simplicity and lack of pretension of this un-book-like book. The quotations, designed and laid out simply in a typewriter font, coupled with the compelling portrait photographs, which have been printed in a way that makes them look almost three-dimensional, strongly evoke the world of Tallaght and the lives behind it with all their memories and emotions. In the view of the panel, this is a nice combination of restraint and engagement. At the same time the design underlines the fact that the project was not so much directed from the outside but really did come from within the community itself. With this project Bik Van der Pol and designer David Bennewith have restored something to the district and brought to life voices that had not been heard hitherto.

Edition: 2009
Language: English
Publisher: Bik Van der Pol, Rotterdam
Graphic designer: David Bennewith with thanks to Sandra Kassenaar
Lithographer: Tienkamp & Verheij, Groningen
Printer: Tienkamp & Verheij, Groningen
Binder: Patist, Den Dolder
Size book block (w x h x d in mm): 210 x 280 x 3
Number of pages: 40 p.
Print run: 1,500
Price: € 8
ISBN: none
Font and foundry: Pica 10 Pitch, modified by the designer
Binding style: stapled soft cover
Material: 120gsm Signature, 80gsm Calco (interior), 250gsm Chromolux Color, mouse grey (cover); plus scarf, supplied by Promosjaal, Rotterdam