6 April till 17 May 2011


Residency Rory Pilgrim

Until the 17th of May the British artist Rory Pilgrim will be in residence at Kunsthuis SYB. Central to Pilgrim’s practice is questioning the role of cultural, social and global ownership and responsibility. Investigating a concern of ‘glocality’, between global and local structures, Pilgrim explores the forms in which we profess what we believe in, individually and collectively, as individuals, communities and nations. In 2008 for example, Pilgrim attempted to completely integrate two European towns of Weymouth (UK) and Haapsalu (Estonia) starting from a ‘twin town friendship’ via an online website: www.weymouthaapsalu.com. Collecting every public source of information concerning the towns life and inhabitants without the knowledge of either towns, the website provides a starting point of cultural sharing, celebration and further integration.

Situating himself between an intention of political activism and critical representation, Pilgrim’s work often explores the timeless cultural forms of speech, discussion and musical performance. In 2010 Pilgrim created a work born from the words spoken by the Chinese general secretary Zhao Ziyang during the protests of Tiananmen Square in 1989. Speaking to the students Ziyang called out ‘We are already old, and do not matter’. In the work entitled Can we leave things as they are? (Tiananmen Square Never happened in Holland) Pilgrim installed a meeting room for 2 weeks and invited seniors from the city of Amsterdam to answer the question ‘Can we leave things as they are?’ in consensus. As a way to broadcast their decision to the city he composed a piece of music for the Vrijheids Carillon at 40-45 Plein in the west of Amsterdam.

For his residency at SYB, Pilgrim takes a historical moment as a starting point for discussion and reflection. In 1989 after years of being silenced the peoples of the Baltic States joined hands across their borders over 600 kilometers in a phenomenon later named the ‘Baltic Way’ during their ’Singing Revolution’. Using SYB as a starting place of activity with a library of books, audio, and film as well as place for meeting, discussion and screenings, Pilgrim uses it as a space welcome to all. Over the 6 weeks this will culminate in gathering outside of the village in a shared moment of silence and unity from which to return. The ‘Quiet Revolution’ will take place in Beetsterzwaag between 6th April to 15th May, 2011.

Rory Pilgrim (Great Britain, 1988) studied at the Chelsea College of Art in Londen at the Eesti Kunsti Akadeemia, in the Estonian Tallinn. Between 2008-2010, he was artist-in-residence at De Ateliers in Amsterdam. His work could be seen in international art spaces such as Sculpture International Rotterdam, SMART Project Space, Amsterdam, Site Gallery, Sheffield, Great Britain and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Rory Pilrgrim lives and works in Den Helder.
Library and a cup of tea with film screening:
Saturday 7 May from 1 to 6 pm, SYB

Sunday 8 May 3 pm, Sparjeburd open air theatre

Conversation between Rory Pilgrim and Remco Torenbosch:
Sunday 8 May 5 pm, SYB