To play or to die, proceed or refuse. Nathalie Abbing struggles with choices and expectations. Under the rafters of the old gunpowder storage house hangs the work of art Swings and Gallows. Made from thick rope and centuries old wood, even with little tapered stools under the gallows, it all looks original, like it has been there for ages. With this installation Nathalie brings two extremes closer together.
Nathalie: “One of the visitors at this exhibition was a little girl, accompanied by her parents, who loved the installation. As soon as she entered the room and saw the swings she could not resist to try them out. She swung as high as she could, screaming with joy. This was allright because I made everything fit for use anyway. After the little girl was through swinging she walked over to one of the gallows. Her little hand could just about reach the rope when she asked her mother: ‘Mammy, what can I do with this one?’.
Of course I made sure that she could not try that one out as well but this little scene showed me the essence of the installation.
I believe that everything in life is a choice, some choices are obvious and miles apart, others are not so clear and may be harder to distinguish. Even the decision not to choose is a choice.
I have had quite some difficulties with the choices I made in life for they were not always positive for me and the people around me. Now I am glad that I finally chose, just like that little girl, for the swings and can play again.”