De Laatste Aai
Expo : De laatste aai / The last pet
June 13 2019 ’till February 23 2020 – Tot Zover, Amsterdam NL
While preparing for our upcoming exhibition ‘(Re)design Death’ at Cube design museum (a review will be online soon) together with two colleagues I paid a visit to Museum ‘Tot Zover’/’So Far’ in Amsterdam. Tot Zover is the only museum in the Netherlands that explores the funeral industry and various funeral rites. Located on Amsterdam’s largest monumental cemetery, museum Tot Zover breaths a serene, respectful and pleasant vibe. Despite the ‘heavy’ topic of the museum’s exhibits, it’s a nice place to visit and an enjoyable break from the busy inner city.
Their current exhibition ‘De Laatste Aai – eerbetoon aan dode dieren’ / ‘The Last Pet – A tribute to dead animals’ focuses on the loss and rituals of (beloved) animals. People love animals, or at least some animals, and we’re touched when they die. Our pets become part of our families and when they die it feels like a family member has died or our best friend. But do we also mourn the death of roadkill or the poor animals in factory farms? The last pet describes the intimate bonds we share with animals and explores the limits of our grief.
The exhibition displays the ritual farewells in the form of a pet burials or cremations, but also focuses on our paradoxical attitudes concerning animal welfare. In contrary to our pet animals, most animals are ‘invisible’ and anonymous to us. Their lives and death couldn’t be more different than the lives and deaths of our pets. Contemporary artists contemplate and investigate aspects of animal mortality and next to personal stories of loved and lost animal friends, they tell the stories of ‘unmourned’ animal deaths we are constantly surrounded by.
The Last pet can be visited until February 23rd 2020 at museum Tot Zover in Amsterdam. For more info about the museum or the exhibition, go to totzover.nl.