We met Catherine in Rotterdam and walked around looking at some galleries. First a food show at showroom mama, 'fuel' by Marije Vogelzang, (her name is maria birdsong!) with giant salami's with knitted skins and a room padded with marshmallow and some cinnamoney wafer's which you baked on lightbulbs and a scale next to the toilet to see how much weight you lost when you pee.
"we even turned a part of our showroom into a refrigerator, in order to prevent the woolen sausage going bad "
After giant Roti's we walked to kunsthal. Its a pretty amazing Koolhaas building, and though one hall was closed for installation, we saw the crew washing down Antony Gormley's people on the deck in readiness for the new show. You know, sponging them off. And we saw a city of concrete towers half installed, and across the city skyline a string of figures standing looking out.
I loved the Chinese poster collection, and these amazing portraits of children of the swiss mountains by Emil Brunner, but was really most pleased to catch PIG 05049 by Christien Meinderstma. What is this, some kind of MAGICAL ANIMAL? A freezer containing all the products made from a single pig. All packaged up delightfully into an amazing array of products.
Over three years, designer Christien Meindertma has investigated exactly what products are made from pigs. Her quest provided her with 187 products and led her to a tattoo artist, dentist, farmer and weapon specialist. Beer, medicine, munitions, cardiac valves, brake discs and bubblegum: these are but a few products that contain parts, or sometimes minuscule particles, of a pig. For the very first time an almost surgical dissection of one specific pig is exhibited: PIG 05049 is on display in the Kunsthal, together with all the products that originate from it.
I had seen her work via lovely textiles, where she worked with a flock of sheep from a farm in wales, sheared them and turned the wool from each animal into a single garmet containing the id tag and an image of the animal. You can still see them here and if you click on a white sheep, you see a white cardigan and the animal it came from. And click a bunny you get mittens, and an alpaca you get a fuzzy scarf. I love this whole project. I was just talking to Catherine about not really wanting to eat meat when I didn't know where it came from. At least in a vague sense, but what about the clothes? And did you know there is pig in everything? Almost. SO yes, for all the Homer Simpsons out there, It is some kind of a magical animal.