Weasel in treadmill
Weasel in treadmill
Following the visit to the Van Nelle factory, the well-known industrial monument from 1930, during the Art Rotterdam art fair in the Van Nelle factory galleries. It is very crowded.
Galleries throughout the Netherlands present many familiar names. I also saw galleries from Madrid, London and German cities.
Torch Gallery is also represented in the Van Nelle factory. In Amsterdam in the last century, I lived in the gazebo of the Torch Gallery run by Adriaan van der Have. His son Mo has run the gallery since his father's death. Mo and I met each other for the first time in the Van Nelle Factory. In this Torch Gallery exhibition there stands a horse from Tinkebell. The artist does more with dead animals. The stuffed horse called 'My little pony' is an indictment of the pet super-toys in modern society. The horse has, like 'My little pony', roller skates and large eyes. The head can rotate one hundred and eighty degrees. Tinkebell confronts the audience with the hypocrisy which deals with cruelty to animals.
I continue walking into the halls of the Van Nelle Factory. At the back is the Prospects & Concepts exhibition. There are a few intriguing panels by Lennart Lahuis (1986). He has coated a few standard reproductions lists behind glass with beeswax, and made them unrecognizable. You know there was something under the wax, a familiar picture. I look at the panels and it seems something is shining through. But no matter how long I look, I cannot see what it is.
In the same week on TV is my hero Wim T Schippers. He talks about his conceptual art and how to make it invisible. He suggests making a very complex machine in which to pour concrete. The function of the machine has gone. You cannot even see it anymore. It is the idea, the concept.
Earlier, I asked myself, could there be a blindfolded master painter who creates a painting. The piece stays unseen and is packed watertight. It has a sail and ropes around it, and then encased in concrete. They drop the concrete block in the middle of the ocean and it disappears into the great depths. This painting, is it art?
It has become a conceptual work of art. I muse. Should I now throw myself into a concept? I can see the sharks circling around the block of concrete in the depths of the ocean and think of the shark by Damien Hirst, who is as dead as the horse Tinkebell. Wim T. Schippers turns a cog in my head. I think about a hamster on a treadmill, that should be cast in concrete.
The next day a gift from the cat lies on the doorstep. It is a weasel, dead but intact. A beautiful specimen with white and reddish-brown fur. I order a treadmill and make an appointment with my neighbour. She is an archaeologist and has an X-ray machine.
Later, as the concrete has hardened, we do the radiograph. The radiograph is the ownership certificate of the conceptual work entitled "Weasel on treadmill"
Why are these creatures on treadmills? Are the animals so bored or are they there for people to look at it? I have taken away both functions. The weasel is dead, it never had a treadmill and no time to get bored. It now sits on the treadmill and no one can see it. Caught in death.
Photo 2: Tinkebell My little pony, at Torch Gallery
Photo 3: Lennart Lahuis