The Gifts of Time Mail Art Project -in the windows   

The performance >>

Above: You had to peep into the windows to view the objects and through the spaces between them, to view the performance (on May 6 and June 2nd) or to look into the boardroom.

Above: Back view,
not visible to the public

The windows were filled with undeserved gifts. We wanted to involve others in the Dans le jardin des beaux arts project in a variety of ways as well as playing with the theme of inner and external space in and around the spaces of this courtyard.

People from around the world posted us containers, which we have assembled against the window panes as staging and decor. These elements from other people's everyday lives formed the environment for the performances behind the windows.

For some senders this was a conscious artistic act. Countless artists around the world participate in Mail Art projects, and some of these posted their choice of a container in the context of a conceptual statement.

Others, many not artists, simply sent or gave us containers. They were also asked for a reason because we wanted people to think about what a container is, apart from its utilitarian function.

The associations were many. We got a Philips lamp box from New Zealand, but made in Indonesia, and someone's empty writing pad. Her container for correspondence with others. A gold-coloured chocolates box from Siberia. Some are items from their everyday lives, such as an English milk chocolate drink. Others combinations of the exotic or other with the everyday such as the container for houmous, manufactured by the archetypal English firm of Sainsburys.

The containers are stacked on top of one another,
inside each other, and create spaces within spaces
against the matrix of the windows.

Left to Right panel by panel:
Top row:
 click on image for other views
Five year old pancake in a transparent CD case from Julie Penfold, U.K.;
Cambert cheese container -Patrick Collins, U.K.; ceramic eggshell-like form -Joanna M. Paul, New Zealand; assemblage -Anne Nomrowski/Dietmar Vollmer, Germany; Collage by Ninni Tang, The Netherlands; Photos of their puppets and masks -Elena Ostrer / Peter Nilov, Russia; A Stage (for a snail) by Jacqueline Wassen; Gold-coloured chocolates Container -A. Bourkhanov, Russia;
Cloth snail by Jacqueline Wassen; Bottom row:
Souvenir de Roubaix (postcard) by Jacqueline Wassen; assemblage -Anne Nomrowski/Dietmar Vollmer, Germany; Two small tupperware containers from Tasmsin Clark, Canada, who wrote that they could stand alone or snuggle together; A piece of glue-tack attached to a card from Melissa, U.K., along with a story about boxes within boxes, the smallest so small that no microscope could view them. She told us that one of these tiny boxes was attached to the glue-tack for easy handing; Blackbird drawing by Trish Flannery, The Netherlands; (obscured by the figure) Box of Matches from James Fisher Northern Ireland, who wrote the that box was small like Northern Ireland but hopefully with the danger removed; Peep-box by Geeske Harting, The Netherlands; Lightbulb container from Joanna M. Paul, New Zealand; The Setting -a three-dimensional frame by Sonja van Kerkhoff, Stairs for a snail by Jacqueline Wassen.

Click on an area
for a closer view.

Window on Right Left Panel, top to bottom

Photograph of the painting: The Strawberry Man by Paul Rayner, New Zealand

Soft sculpure (egg-forms) by Jessy Rahman, The Netherlands;

Collage by, Puppet snails by Jacqueline Wassen visible through the holes in the boxes;

Lightbox tableau by Jacqueline Wassen (click on bottom left corner to view this).

Middle Panel, Top to Bottom: Snail puppets visible through the holes in the card and paper, by Jacqueline Wassen (click on this to view one),

Mutability (postcard) by Sonja van Kerkhoff,
Ceramic house form by Sonja van Kerkhoff,



The Video and animation on view through the window

Detail of bottom right windowpane:

In the top gap Tamatea's face is just visible as he crawls along the table.

In the bottom gap you can see one of Toroa's legs as he walks around the table. Click on an image for more


About the performance >>