Ik ben gevraagd om een installatie te maken voor de 2 jaar durende manifestatie Bewegen en Landen in (en rond) het Huis voor Cultuur en Bestuur in Nijverdal, Gemeente Hellendoorn. De installatie moet inspelen op de (cultuur)historie van de Gemeente Hellendoorn. Op deze weblog is mijn werk- en denkproces te volgen. Start van het project: november 2011. (Begin helemaal onderdaan als je het werkproces vanaf het begin wil inzien.)

I have been asked to make an installation for a two-year project titled "Moving and Landing" in (and around) the House of Culture and Administration in Nijverdal, district of Hellendoorn (the Netherlands). On this weblog, I'm writing about this project in Dutch (which is the language spoken in the district of Hellendoorn). You can find some information about the project in English here .

maandag 1 augustus 2011

The Black Grouse

The eyebrows of the Black Grouse (“Korhoen” in Dutch). That’s what I dream about at night. I saw them in the Visiters Centre of the National Park “Sallandse Heuvelrug”. They’re even more beautiful and impressive in real, especially during the mating season when they swell up. Imagine having such eyebrows. I wouldn’t mind. Now and then.

Last year only four male black grouse were seen. The females are brown and almost invisible, therefore harder to find. Every year the male birds are counted. The National Park Sallandse Heuvelrug, situated in the district of Hellendoorn, is the only remaining natural area in Holland where they are to be found. They are almost extinct.

The black grouse needs a lot of space and there isn’t a lot of space left in Holland. The National Park Sallandse Heuvelrug is one of the most beautiful places in Holland. If it goes well with the black grouse, it goes well with the National Park. A lot of people don’t understand this. They think it is ridiculous to spend money on trying to save/preserve these birds. They talk about “those stupid black chicken”. It wouldn’t surprise me if those are the same people who think it is ridiculous to invest in art.

Although I was born at the edge of the National Park and spend half of my youth wandering around in what felt like my own huge backyard, I've never seen a black grouse. To me, it is sort of a mythical animal. It represents the place in Holland I love most, but it kept itself hidden all that time. I'm not sure if I should try to meet the bird. But I'll spend some time there in spring and I hope he'll try to meet me.

For now I’m thinking about dressing myself in the colours of the black grouse for a period of one year. Identify myself with an animal for whom there isn’t enough space in Holland. But first I have to get myself a pair of red eyebrows.

(And if I like my eyebrows I will produce them for other black grouse-lovers, they can be sold at the exhibition and the money can be used to support the people who fight for the survival of the black grouse in Holland)

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