Studio Residency, Kunsthuis SYB 2017

The Storyteller by Arvo Leo reading 'God Syb' by Alison Yip

the aristocrats of the village finally got together one day and decided to do something about the peeping tom. the peeping tom had been harassing the villagers for so long that they began to grow pale from having to keep their window shutters closed all the time. but the main problem was that he never peeped on the properties of the aristocrats and so they felt insulted and left out. to punish him they lured him onto a boat disguised as a pub that was headed to canada. confused, he landed in canada, but eventually made his name there as an accomplished fiddler.

'Fanning the Word' detail

since the perming of horse hair came into practice during wartime to add intimidating volume to the horse’s appearance, biologists who have an interest in horses have noticed that the beasts' rate of hair growth has nearly doubled over the last decades. shampoo commercials usually open with a frustrated woman tugging at her limp hair. a voice says, ‘hay, why the long face?’

'Fanning the Word' Installation view

the ghost of lena-lena can be seen on friday nights in the window of the abandoned courthouse. she was and still is a gifted window dancer and impressed the town with her ability to pass through the glass and dance on either side as she pleased. men who fell under the spell of her spooky booty weredoomed to speak in palindromes and were mistaken for great poets.

'God Syb' tree inscriptions of Beetsterzwaag

before dermatology was a thing you could study, squeezing zits was mistaken for proof of ectoplasm. gone are the days when a great aunt could tap dance out of a greasy chin.


a birdwatcher can go for years and years without spotting a certain bird. as a result their sense of time is distorted. they can casually say, ‘there’s always next year’ because a year is nothing when time is marked by rare bird sightings. once a birdwatcher brought a friend from work along on an excursion and the friend looked everywhere and saw only a tangle of branches and leaves. after some time the friend gave up and began to stare rather at the birdwatcher himself. he watched how the birdwatcher pointed his mini binoculars into the trees and then to the sky and then the trees again. then, without flinching, he would whisper, ‘jackpot’ and the friend was both impressed and frightened by this display of extraordinary patience.

the next day at the office, the friend of the birdwatcher accidentally pressed 100 instead of 10 copies on the photocopy machine. there was no cancel button so he started to panic because he was an environmentalist. there was nothing to do but wait for the copies to finish so he turned his gaze out the window to avoid seeing the numbers on the counter. outside, in the afternoon light, a strange movement in the bush caught his eye. it was the peeping tom.