Meet the Ferengi

Showing from 5th March to 24th October in the exhibition “Ferengi” in Museum Villa Mondriaan. While we wait for the museum to open, we can meet with the Ferengi from the exhibition right here:
What part of ourselves are we really, what part do we want to own? And what part of ourselves is made by others, or are we because we are expected to?
That is what the exhibition “Ferengi” is about, the desire to be an outsider.
The desire to be something other than ourselves. The desire to have nothing more to do with it and to hide ourselves completely in a stranger.


Dienke 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 Hollandinye

Dienke 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 Ferengi

Dienke Groenhout

Zaliwa, a midnight sun

Valerie 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


Tamrat 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…”


Gígja 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.