The publication accompanying the Belgian Pavilion at the next Venice Biennale, Personne et les autres borrow its title from a lost play by André Frankin, a Belgian art critic affiliated with the Lettrist and Situationist Internationals.
The Cormorant Chronicles
Realised on invitation of DS Landscape Architecture of Amsterdam
Fours pieces mixed media and found objects.
The Cormorant Chronicles took as their starting point, a found structure upon which a bird was sitting. The Structure was mysterious and its purpose unclear, the birds acidic shit attempting to eat through the paint. Neither was giving way, a kind of uncomfortable symbiosis. The following objects are in relation to the original found situation, as set of quasi –related and sometimes adapted/ reproduced subjects.
Cormorant to Brugman
A reproduction of the Brugman family tree, human faces replaced with various breeds of the Cormorant
The Brugman family has run the ‘Fijnhouthandel’ (fine wood trade store) in Amsterdam for over a century. They recently moved to the Houthaven area, hence re-iterating the original function of the ‘wood harbors’. The actual family tree carving hangs in their shop, this reproduction is kept as true to the original as possible, – the family members having been replaced by various sub-species of the bird.
Width 54 cm x Length 66 cm x Depth 4 cm
Platform support structure, bearing fully-grown Cormorant
Model based on a platform, which can be found in the “Houthaven” of Amsterdam
The structure is designed to carry an unknown heavy load, architectural or otherwise. As a well-painted armature, its black surface is resilient to the weather, but is dripping with sporadic bird shit.
The Cormorant is an alien bird to Europe, provoking a love/ hate response of residents. The birds tend to live in colonies, and with few natural predators, prosper in short periods. Their flesh is sour and not really edible, – their excrement acrid and detrimental to plants and other wildlife.
Width 552 cm, length 482 cm, height, 1170 cm
Newspaper page from North Western Finland, outlining the local plight of the Cormorant
This article speaks of several aspects of the bird in relation to the local residents. As a protected species the cormorant has prospered, sometimes at the peril of local species. The regional environmental watch had at the time authorized the shooting of 75 birds.
Width 40 cm, height 28 cm
Official photo from the film ‘The Cormorant’, starring Ralph Fiennes
A haunting tale, where a man forms an unlikely relationship with the otherwise anti-social cormorant.
Ralph Fiennes is best known for his role in Schindler’s list, where he is a reckless Nazi, making random shootings from his balcony in the morning. A famous quote from John Talbot of The Cormorant states: “Heaven does not interest mankind, it is too much like a never ending Sunday afternoon. It is Hell that captivates us.”
Width 28,5 cm, height 32 cm