Bik Van der Pol
· index · notes · books
Little Liars
'Little Liars' used to be the (nick)name of the radio receivers in the Soviet Union. These radios would receive only one single frequency. Usually installed in the kitchen, they were part of every Soviet household, and had to be on all day. They were the one and only source of information about what took place in the Soviet Union and the rest of the world. Like the newspapers also this medium was controlled entirely by the state.

Little Liars (collection from Kyiv, models 1-9), consists of nine unique bronze casts of such one-channel radios, which were collected by Bik Van der Pol at flee-markets and from private persons during a residency in Kyiv. As part of their continuous research on how knowledge, information –or the lack thereof-, and disinformation affect a community or society, Bik Van der Pol investigated during this residency how information was disseminated to the public, in particular how the events following the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl have implanted and continue to manifest themselves in the private and public life.

As a result of the casting process, the original radios have been fully replaced by the bronze material. Every detail, inscription, mark or structure, is conserved in the bronze, a material that is traditionally used to cast monuments and public sculptures. This casting, lost-wax casting or cire perdue, is the
Little Liars
process by which one single duplicate is cast from an original object. Materials other than wax can be used (in this case radios) and the original, the mould, is destroyed to remove the cast item.

Little Liars was shown at Brutus (2022), Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2013), Van Abbemuseum (2009), Bethanienhaus Berlin (2006), and in Monuments of Our Discontent: Expiration of Place, by the National Art Museum of Lithuania at Moscow Biennial (2007): this exhibition focused on the replacing of history with corporations and the increasing speed of industrial obsolescence—tragically relevant in the rapidly transforming urban context.

At Van Abbe Museum this work was part of Plug In 28 (2007-2009), a show that speculated on access to past, present and future through a museum collection. Next to Little Liars, Bik Van der Pol presented Loompanics and Kyiv, 18-3-2006 (version for slide projector).

Also presented were Pay Attention (1973) by Bruce Nauman, a weapon license on the name of the director of Van Abbe Museum, and three works by On Kawara. Plug In, conceived by Bik Van der Pol, unfolded as a precise choreography of three Acts; in time, works were replaced by others during three alternating presentations.