“Art is the lie that reveals reality.” Jeroen Brouwers - “Culture, considered as a process, means acquiring a vast deal of useless knowledge, and then forgetting it.” Albert Jay Nock - “The world is full of objects, more or less interesting; I do not wish to add any more.” Douglas Huebler - “In life and in art one has to begin each day anew.” Louis Couperus

Title: Fora & Fauna

Esther Gerritsen as twoleavescannotdie, Ann Meskens as vacuum cleaner, Ike Kamphof as 2 rubber bunnies, Maria Barnas as dry rot, Vrouwkje Tuinman as slug, Bianca Stigter as spermatozoon, Tamar Stelling as cyborg bee, Paulien Cornelisse as yeast cell, Jannie Regnerus as godwit, Vincent Bijlo as rhinovirus, Bram Esser as snackpigeon, Patrick van Veen as chimpanzee, Atte Jongstra as buckling kipper, Matthijs van Boxsel as Potter’s Bull, Bart Knols as mosquito, Gerbrand Bakker as sheep

photos by: Richard de Bruijn, Roos Koole en Wiesje Peels
design: Rosé de Beer

Project commissioned by stichting Niet Normaal with financial support of stichting Niet Normaal and the Mondriaan Fund

THE HAGUE – Egocentrism and anthropocentrism run rampant on Facebook and Twitter. Humans think they are in charge, but in fact the roles are frequently reversed. A mosquito, for instance, managed to shut down the news in Taiwan by flying into the throat of a television news presenter. Another mosquito gave away a Finnish car thief by gorging itself with his blood.
In the average human mouth there are more than 7 billion bacteria. Isn’t it time to let them speak? In an effort to put human mastery of the world in perspective and to promote a more symbiotic relationship among humans, animals and things, Sjaak Langenberg has invited 16 biologists, philosophers and authors to crawl into the skin of a godwit, a vacuum cleaner, Paulus Potter’s bull, a mosquito, a slug, the rhinovirus, the primordial plant species Twoleavescannotdie and other creatures. Each writer crawls into the skin of a bacterium or plant on the Facebook and Twitter page of Fora & Fauna for two weeks and looks at the world, or comments on the news, from this unusual position.

Fora & Fauna is part of the exhibition festival Ja Natuurlijk / Yes Naturally How art saves the world in and around GEM Museum for Contemporary Art, The Hague. In the exhibition Fora & Fauna is represented by 16 low-tech smartphones. You can scroll both mechanically and analogously through the twitter messages that writers have posted.

Yes Naturally creates a platform for ‘unlooked-for relations’ between human and non-human entities. The exhibition celebrates a world in which man, nature and technology are no longer seen as each other’s opposites but as partners. Yes Naturally shows examples of co- evolution where different narratives and positions interact.


Fora & Fauna on Facebook (dutch only)
Fora & Fauna on Twitter (dutch only)
BBC: The man who became a pigeon
Ja Natuurlijk / Yes Naturally website


Dutch national newspaper De Volkskrant: Kan een naaktslak de wereld redden? (Dutch only)
VPRO Boeken website: Gerritsen als a plant (Dutch only)
VARA Vroege Vogels Radio 1: Ik ben Tweeblaarkanniedood (Dutch Only)
NCRV Cappuccino Radio 2: interview with Sjaak Langenberg (Dutch only)
KRO's Nacht van het goede leven Radio 1, interview with Sjaak Langenberg (Dutch Only)

© Sjaak Langenberg & Rosé de Beer