Boijmans Van Beuningen

Archeology: Mouchette first appeared in a museum in 1997. It was in the Museum  Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam. This postcard is the only witness of this museum presence. She was invited inside the show of Ben Schot called Shells (another bio of Ben Schot)

For the historians, here is how it went: Ben Schot  asked me to have a part in his show “Shells”, which concept I didn’t quite understand, except maybe that it was about the museum as an empty shell. One part was inside his show, and another was inside Mouchette’s website.

My idea was to become the “daughter of the museum”, and by an act of naming, to generate my own father. Or to express differently: a father, as an act of “generation” gives his name. But Mouchette,  who is a virtual person, created herself, and generated her genitor. Here, I had taken the name of the museum as the name of my genitor.

On the website of the Boijmans, on the index page, at, was this name: Mouchette Boijmans Van Beuningen written all accross a pink page, with only two links,one  to mouchette and one to the museum. And this double linkage lasted through the whole show of Ben Schot in 1997 (I don’t remember which month). It seems very unlikely that I could mess up with the museum homepage in that way, but at that time, nobody cared for the museum website. It was in the hands of an intern, I still remember her name “Jaconelle Schuffel”, she knew her way around internet because her brother was working in the computer business and helping her with it. She had created the site of the Boijmans all by herself, and she had also made a survey which the visitors could answer. (Incidentally I learned from her how to make a form, using a cgi script from the server at I didn’t have the domain yet, as you can see on the card).


This card was distributed through their whole mailing list (per post of course) together with the information letter of the museum. In this information letter there was also a small text by Mouchette explaining her intervention of becoming the daughter of the museum in rather cryptic terms (“generating her genitor” or something like this…). The archeologists should find some traces of my intervention in the museum bulletin of 1997.
This card was also placed inside the exhibition of Ben Schot, quite unconspicuously, on a  presentation box against a wall, where visitors could help themselves to a copy of it. There must have been at least 500, or maybe 1000 of these cards printed and distributed.

For the web archeologists, there are still some links mentioning the show of Ben Schot “Shells”, or my intervention with the postcard on a  CV written in 1998 for the Montreal Biennale 

The part of the show which was inside my website was called Blind Shells. I created a work with names of fluorescent shells given to me by Ben Schot.


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