Dans le jardin des beaux arts

installation of snail forms

by Jacqueline Wassen, Sen McGlinn and Sonja van Kerkhoff

First made as a set of 19 for an exhibition in W-h-anganui, Aotearoa / New Zealand in 2000, these snails have been shown in various locations and combinations.

Click on an image to see that installation / performance.


2000, Whanganui,
Aotearoa / N.Z.


2000, Whanganui,
Aotearoa / N.Z.


2002, Oxford, U.K.


2000, Whanganui,
Aotearoa / N.Z.


2001, Leiden,
The Netherlands.


2004, CheongJu,
South Korea.


2000, Kuala Lumpa
Malaysia.


2001, Den Bosch,
The Netherlands.


2004, Urmond,
The Netherlands.


2000, Whanganui,
Aotearoa / N.Z.


2001, Taller,
France.


2005, Saravego,
Bosnia.


Installation view: Left to Right: Dans le jardin des beaux arts
in the exhibition: Korero korero,
Sarjeant Gallery, Whanganui, New Zealand / Aotearoa,
2000.


Installation view: Left to Right: Dans le jardin des beaux arts
in the exhibition: Dans le jardin des beaux arts,
The ARS Gallery courtyard Leiden, 2001.



In early 2000, seven year old Tamatea brought home a snail as his pet. Soon he had four snails. Then he set about training them to race, to follow routes and in particular to listen to him. Fascinated by this the three of us chose the snail as our 'character' for the installation, "Dans le jardin des beaux arts". We were looking for a 'character' for texts we wanted to arranged over the floor of a wing in a museum.

We settled on 19 snail forms varying in sizes from 15 cm up to over a metre. Each bore a text arranged in a spiral. The texts alluded to time, perspective, culture and nature. The texts look at these issues from various viewpoints, in an order and tempo chose by the viewer.

On one snail is this story: "The princess received a magic a magic collection of threads and was told that she should pull out a thread whenever she was unhappy. When the thread come out, the unpleasant time would be over. Soon most of the threads were gone and the princess discovered that she had become an old woman."


The text reads: "You challenge me!",
the hare laughed.
Detail from the exhibition:
Dans le jardin des beaux arts,
The ARS Gallery courtyard Leiden, 2001.

Click to for a larger view of the image on the right >>
in a pop-up window


Or go to the "Oceania" page and scroll down.



The "Threads" exhibition in 2008.

To a list of the texts on these snail forms