We create interactive art works that invite the public to be curious, to operate the work or to enter it. MakeFactory wants to wonder people, invite them to contemplate and to think about the other sides of normality. What do we think is true? and what is not?
RolliebollieDienke Groenhout, The Netherlands This costume was introduced in the previous newsletter in the blog “stuff stuff stuff”. Nothing was bought for this ‘costume’. It is too heavy to walk with and thus it tells its own story. All the things we collect, all the stories from the past, memories, souvenirs are incorporated into it. They are precious materialized thoughts and sentiments until they become ballast. The ballast of a life became its own entity.
Ferengi HollandinyeDienke Groenhout These two costumes are made entirely from material from my immediate environment. While I was wondering what it means to pass off as a Dutch citizen abroad, I wandered through my own soil. To begin with, my garden. There was a dead pine tree in it that had to be removed. And bamboo also grows there (an exotic by the way). While I was busy sawing and cutting the tree and the bamboo, I wondered which part of the Netherlands I wanted to represent if people call me Dutch. Maybe the nature? The ability to incorporate something exotic, something new and strange as part of our own identity? This is how the Ferengi Hollandinye (the Dutch stranger, because it looks like the first Ferengi, an Ethiopian stranger) was created, made of bamboo from the garden, grass from the floodplains and ‘test grasses’ from the WUR trial fields. While Debek Ferengi (Hidden Stranger) has antlers from our fir tree, and is made of the wool of Grebbeveld Schapen &zo, where our Magirus is parked.
Debek FerengiDienke Groenhout
Zaliwa, a midnight sunValerie Amani, Tanzania A sea creature, Valerie wrote a poem to accompany this costume that has everything to do with her motto “Definition belong to the definers, not to the defined” (Toni Morrisson) A midnight song To be born in the ephemeral A water birth Holding balance between the seen And unseen A cleansing Or a drowning and reincarnation The many things that are felt But not understood We have become the contradiction of living as nature But not a part of it Placing home in the periphery We became observers of ourselves A water birth Is a breaking birth A limitless birthing occurring And reoccurring Until we understand What we really are Is nothing like we wanted to be A midnight sun Moving mysteries Inhaling and transforming Like the texture of our skin And the hypocrisy of humanity Always changing Hybrids today Hybrids tomorrow I try and relocate myself Hold on to a fluid identity A history I did not ask for But one I must claim And re-texturize
EcosapiensTamrat Gezahegne, Ethiopia “My Ecosapiens was born from my desire to see the urban and the rural coexist in symbiosis. Where the one strengthens the other, and both can live together in harmony and biodiversity. That they understand and share their cultural values and knowledge for a better future…”
FjállkonanGígja Reynisdóttir, Iceland ‘Fjállkonan’ is a mythical woman who symbolizes the people and nature of Iceland. Traditionally, the lady, usually played by a famous actress, recites poems during Iceland’s national holiday. She is then dressed in a splendid, traditional mountain woman regalia embroidered with gold thread and flowers. In the twenty-five years that I have been living in the Netherlands, I have come to miss the rugged Icelandic nature and in particular the mountains more and more. It was therefore a logical choice for me to make my own personal ‘Fjállkonan’ for the Ferengi exhibition. Watch below how the the Ferengi move around in their habitat. With special thanks to Jessie van Vreden, Pauline van Tuyll en Tania Romero. And visit here the website of Museum Villa Mondriaan.
When we arive to new places we try to connect immediately to what we know. We try to give the strange a familiarity. Do we need a similarity to connect? While I traveled many continents I was always categorized immediately and given many names even though I was there for the first time. I wondered what will happen when there is no category for me yet and no context to refer to? How do people face the strange? The suit was made with the help of Gennet Hussein, presented at Guramayne Art Centre and now in possession of The National Theatre, Addis Abeba.
“Staying is not the same as coming back”
“How did we get here?” was the theme of this international exhibition. The question aimed to acdress our identity seen in a global perspective. MakeFactory created the performance installation ‘Floating home’. A landscape of paper furniture that seems to have fallen apart. People can enter the deranged room that invites them to a moment of reflection. Voices are whispering questions to wonder about. In cooperation with the dancers of Muda Africa, who created a special performance for this work. Sponsored by Safmarine.
In cooperation with the theatre group Barefeet Theatre, whose core business is making theatre with street kids and vulnerable youth, MakeFactory made this magazine-like book. Zambia has more then 70 spoken languages. To be able to understand each other, the Zambian government has decided for English to be the official language. Of course language transfers culture more then we are aware of. The Zambian youth cannot relate to the English stories in the nearby library. Therefore Barefeet and MakeFactory thought it urgent to give local life and local people a stage and a place in the library. The book contains local history, urban legends and traditional stories from the neighbourhood Garden Compound. The editorial team was formed by youth from the hood, and an art and drawing team was formed by the children of Kafwa Drop In Centre and the art group of the library.
View here the entire book.
Pecheur de Plastic was a participative performance connecting the fishermen’s traditional rituals of hauling in the nets to modern dance. The dancing school le Chateau culturel in St Louis is situated in the middle of the fishermen’s quarter on a peninsula that is slowly being eaten on one side by the sea and on the other, the river side, by enormous amounts of plastic pollution. The performance was participatory. In invited the public to join in the movements of the dance and to collect plastics together with the dancers while they carried the nets through the streets.
Some gorgeous pictures made by Abdoulaye Toure in sequence of the performance: