What's Eating the Chinese Mitten Crab?

If a theatre play were to be written, telling the story of the Anthropocene, who would be the typical protagonists? Man of course loves to see himself centre-stage. But who are the other agencies at stake? In terms of other species, you could talk about those on the brink of extinction, or wiped out for good. This exhibition, for instance, features the Baiji. The charismatic freshwater dolphin is extinct since 2007. A play with such characters - perpetrators vs. victims - would not only be depressing, but pretty one-dimensional. The truth is that many other species, micro-organisms, fungi, plants and animals, are doing pretty OK in the ruins of capitalism. One of these is the subject of this small exhibition: Eriocheir sinensis, the (Chinese) mitten crab, a remarkably versatile acrobat, long-time inhabitant of the city of Bruges, now guilty of faring well. The show wants to dive into the crab’s habits and motivations while, for once, suspending judgment. This is not to excuse the species of harming local biodiversity. But to recognize the fair share of responsibility we as humans bear in the present situation.

This exhitibion/installation, a projet for Triënnale Brugge 2018, was visible in the Poorterloge, Bruges. It was paired to Who’s eating the Chinese mitten crab? an art-work and set of culinary performances on the beach of Zeebrugge-bad for Beaufort 2018.

Details

Art direction

Lionel Devlieger, Tristan Boniver, Sébastien Paulet

Research

Lionel Devlieger, Céline Ghyselen, Florence Vaes

Production

Sébastien Paulet + Cédric Gautier, Elena Dell’Oro, Arne Vande Capelle

Build

Sebastien Paulet + Anne-Lise Bouillon, Pierre-Yves Volont, Daniel Van Drimmelen

 

External collaborators

Translation: Louise Vines
Proofreading: Livia Cahn
Printing: The Print Agency, Elsene
Calligraphy: Zhang Wenhai

Partners

This installation was made possible thanks to the active aid of the following partner institutions: INBO - Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek, KBIN - Koninklijk Belgisch Instituut voor Natuurwetenschappen, Mendop - Mens en Dier op Papier vzw, Natuurpunt vzw, Onderzoeksgroep Ecosysteembeheer, Universiteit Antwerpen VMM - Vlaamse Milieumaatschappij

Associated partners

ANB - Agentschap voor Natuur en Bos Bundesarchiv Freiburg, Abteilung Militärarchiv Chinees Cultureel Centrum in Brussel Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum Bremerhaven Ghent Centre for Global Studies

Het Koninklijk Legermuseum

KMI - Koninklijk Meteorologisch Instituut Koninklijke Bibliotheek van België

NoA architecten

VLIZ - Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee

Thanks to

Tim Adriaens, Dieter Bruneel (UGent), Etienne Branquart (SPW - Département de l’Etude du Milieu Naturel et Agricole), Delphine Boniver (Favv - AFSCA), Heidi Ballet (Beaufort), Julie Carlier (UGent), Paul Clark (Natural History Museum, London), Arthur Devlieger, Bram D’Hondt (ANB), Cédric d’Udekem d’Acoz (KBIN), Hans De Blauwe, Heidi de Moor (Mendop vzw), Jan Desmet (Mendop vzw), Karine De Batselier (milieudienst stad Brugge), Rik Debeer, Annelise Folie (KBIN), Frans Fierens (KMYCA), Eva Giolo, Karin Giele (Natuurpunt), Linde Galle (INBO), Mark Godfrey (Seafoodsource News), Tom Gantois (Architectuuratelier Dertien12), Yue Gu, Dominique Henrard, Benjamin Haas, Geert Heyneman, Melissa Jin, Tao Jin, Dominique Loreau, Hannes Ledegen (Natuurpunt), Heike Lust (VLIZ bibliotheek), Jeroen Lemaitre (Animaux Spéciaux), Antoine Meert, Delphine Misonne (USL-B), Eva Neefs, Bernardo Robles Hidalgo, Jens Ruppenthal (DSM), Xavier Rollin (SPW - Service de la pêche), Evi Swinnen, Günther Seherr, Jonas Schoelynck (Universiteit Antwerpen) Karel Spiessens, Petra Schütz (DSM), Sophie Seys (USL-B), Geronimo Saey, Yves Samyn (KBIN), Anna Tsing (UCSC), François Thoreau (ULG), Robin Thiers (UGent), Shohei Takeuchi, Yoshiharu Tsukamoto (Atelier Bow Wow), Hugo Verreycken (INBO), Justin Van Aerden, Paul Van Loon (VMM), Philippe Vierin (NoA architecten), Stefan Van Leeuwen (RIKILT - Wageningen University & Research), Toon van Daele (INBO), Valérie Van Haute (Westtoer), Zhang Wenhai, Benedikte Zitouni.

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