Dear friends and acquainted others,
The weather is taking a turn for the worse: summer’s here. With this in mind I’ve recently bought a piece of land, where I will be blissfully waiting in my new caravan for autumn to finally come.
As the past few months brought us a new generation of duck, the past year brought us a new generation of art student. So a few weeks ago, I was one of the adult ducks participating in ArtEZ‘s Zomerlab to teach their young, creative ducks valuable life lessons on a seven-day camping trip to France. (Caravan and parcel not included.) On the way to the camping we went to Ferdinand Cheval’s Palais Idéal, and we tried to bake an egg on the hood of my car. The latter sadly didn’t work out very well.
I stayed in France for a while after the camping trip, as I will be part of a group exhibition in Carla-Bayle later this year (supported by CBK Rotterdam). Located near Toulouse, Carla-Bayle is best known for being the birthplace of the man it has been named after: Pierre Bayle – also the theme of the exhibition. Pierre Bayle was a Calvinist Protestant philosopher and writer who fled to Rotterdam during the French suppression against Protestants around 1681.
Do you know who benefit most by sunny, summery weather? Garden gnomes. And it just so happened that I found a number of them during a visit to the garden center. They were staring at me as if I were their father, which inclined me to find out more about who these gnomes were and where they had come from. Thus, courageously, I went to one of the employees and started a conversation. I asked if the gnomes were true size. The employee didn’t know.
But eventually I did take them with me, and it inspired me for a new project. About the importance of imagination. I will convince people of its importance by performing from within a luminous mushroom, dressed as a garden gnome. Sort of like a Jehovah’s witness, but different. This is set to take place next year.
If the story about gnomes didn’t make you smile, try this: you can now buy real vrolijk-maak steentjes on my website. They’re cool because rocks usually don’t have faces, which makes it unable for them to smile. But these do, and they smile all the time, and they come with a neat little pouch you can put on your keychain, and they will make you happy.
Lastly there’s a few things coming up:
Bcademie eindshow 2019, at Garage Rotterdam, opens July 11, 18:00 and will be on show until July 14 – read more about it here
Willem de Haan’s Landing Strip (part of Over het IJ festival), at NDSM Werf Amsterdam. Opened July 4 and is on show until July 24. I will be doing a performance on Sunday July 14, around 16:00.
I hope to see you all and I wish you a great summer with lots of ducks and smiling rocks and garden gnomes!
PS. I got this letter from a few people from Nottingham who participated in Expeditie: Planeet Aarde who were in Rotterdam during the project. It made me very happy.