“BioShock Meets Alice in Wonderland” = the best analogy I can think of to describe the incredibly weird exhibit that invaded Leiden’s Lakenhal Museum a few months ago. Titled Pearls in the Arts, it integrates the museum’s existing galleries with a smattering of video displays, sculptures, centuries-old marine specimens and other oddities. Here’s the rundown:
On commission of Museum De Lakenhal,
choreographer and guest curator Karin Post has
designed the exhibition pearls by combining
dance, the arts and natural history. New works of
art by artists including Rob Birza, Berend Strik and
Marijke van Warmerdam are on display alongside
new dance films by Leine Roebana, Het Nationale
Ballet, Natalia Horecna and Michael Schumacher.
These works are supplemented with art and
objects from Museum De Lakenhal’s own collection
and special items on loan from other museums
including ncb Naturalis and Museum Volkenkunde.
As such, this is the starting point of a completely
new museum experience.
The story of the pearl is told in nine scenes. The
story of Siluce, an Aboriginal girl, is the leitmotiv of
the exhibition. It was written for the audio tour by
playwright Rob de Graaf and narrated compellingly
by the Dutch actor Pierre Bokma. Siluce is taken
away by the seas from the warm beaches of the
Pacific Ocean to the cold quays of the Northern
Low Countries. Just like the pearls that have been
taken by voc ships since the 17th century.
Did I mention that the exhibit was weird? It continues through January.
And now for some snapshots…