Moniek Toebosch, De Engelenzender, photo 1995 by Thijs Quispel

Engelen/Angels (1994)

Moniek Toebosch

Moniek Toebosch, the sign about the Angel station in 1995, photo Thijs Quispel (sign is no longer present today)

Please note: Angels/Angels is no longer available on a radio frequency, only as an app. Download the app here (Apple App Store) and here (Google Play). The app only works when you are driving on the Houtribdijk.

The windscreen provides a view of the Houtribdijk’s 26 km of asphalt; the water surfaces of the Markermeer and the IJsselmeer extend on either side of the car. Above all, the empty, grey sky envelops you. Harmonious sounds come from the car radio, interspersed with occasional words of hope and love in different languages. On the public road, in the private space of your car, angels are singing.

Driving on the dike between Enkhuizen and Lelystad in the 1990s, you could tune your car radio to FM 98.0 MHz, ‘the Angel Station’. It was on the air as a radio station from 1994 to 2000 and was revived in 2019.

Moniek Toebosch designed the work, which is officially called Engelen/Angels, in 1992 as part of a so-called abri (bus shelter) project commissioned by the Van der Leeuw Stichting. This foundation asked seven artists to create contemporary shelters; Toebosch considered the car as today’s refuge par excellence, one in which people can isolate themselves on their way from home to work and back.

Except for the signs that announce the radio frequency or the app, the work of art is virtually invisible. Yet Moniek Toebosch manages to fill the entire car with her heavenly sounds, for over 26 km.

Engelen/Angels, which Moniek Toebosch realised in collaboration with composer Harm Visser, was broadcasted on the 26-km-long Houtribdijk that runs between Enkhuizen and Lelystad. The work was commissioned by the Prof. dr. G. van der Leeuw Stichting in collaboration with the SKOR, Stichting Kunst en Openbare Ruimte. In 2019 art critic Hans den Hartog Jager called the work of art one of the 50 ‘core art works of the Netherlands’ and, in collaboration with museum De Fundatie, revived it by turning it into an app. The app was subsequently adopted by Rijkswaterstaat and the Province of Flevoland; the work was officially added to the Flevoland Land Art collection in 2022.

Podcast over Engelen/Angels

Kunstjournalist Luuk Heezen praat over dit bijzondere werk met kunsthistorica Brigitte van der Sande. Deze podcast is een latere toevoeging aan de serie podcasts over Land Art Flevoland die waren opgenomen tijdens het Land Art Luisterweekend.