Photos © Hans Jellema

Curator: Lennard Dost

On Saturday the 30th of November 2013 the Lexicon/Leksikon exhibition opened. Lexicon/Leksikon was a project about accents, dialects and local languages. How do we make use of language in specific communities, how do we define ourselves via language and how do we distinct ourselves form others via language? Last but not least; what role does language play in subcultures ? These kinds of questions were the basis of this project, which lasted till the 11th of January 2014.

Artists that participated
Imogen Stidworthy – Jascha Blume – Koos Dalstra – Anri Sala – Lawrence Abu Hamdan – Bouke Groen.

As part of the project we also organized a lecture by Onno Crasborn, about accents in Dutch sign language, and a guided tour for deaf people. The guided tour was given by artist Jascha Blume, who is deaf himself. The lecture and guided tour were organized on the 8th of December 2013. About 30 people attended the lecture and tour.

Apart from that dr. Bettina Beinhoff gave a lecture about “the influence of attitudes on second language acquisition processes” and “the acceptability of accents in social contexts’ on Saturday the 21st of December 2013.

On the last day of this project (11th of January 2014) we organized a lecture program in collaboration with Meertens Instituut, Genootschap Onze Taal and Fryske Akademie. On this day, there were lectures by: Mathilde Jansen, Lotte Thissen, Anne Dykstra and Marc van Oostendorp. Wouter van Wingerden was present as well, to answer urgent ‘language’ questions in what we called the ‘Hospitaal’.
Presentation: Rutger Middendorp.

Photos © Ruben van Vliet

Last but not least, there was this educational program by artist Yvonne Blaauw, about street language. How do you come up with a street language? When and how do words from the street make it to the offcial Dutch dictionary?
Does street language evolve gradually? Together with children from different school in Leeuwarden, Blaauw created a street language dictionary. The new words originated from the streets, and thus were presented on the streets as well, which seemed to be fitting.
Fragments of the process could be seen in the exhibition as well.

Photos © Yvonne Blaauw

Lexicon/Leksikon was made possible by financial contributions of Mondriaan Fund, Gemeente Leeuwarden, VSB Fonds, SNS Reaal Fonds, Stichting Albino, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Fryslan.



In the publication one could find an article by Bettina Beinhoff – about English as second language. Also in the publication: an article by Onno Crasborn, about accents in sign language, an article by Vivien Waszink – about the language of Dutch hip hop – and an article by art critic Machteld Leij, about the language spoken by the art world. The graphic design of the publication was done by was Marcel Westra.


I was interviewed by local radio stations Radio Mercurius and Omrop Fryslan. VHDG’s projectcoordinator Judith Spijksma was interviewed by Omrop Fryslan as well (about the day with lectures). There was a photo report on Trendbeheer. I was interviewed by art magazine Metroplis M Metropolis M.
Art Magazine Tubelight wrote an intersting article about the exhibition, as did Friesch Dagblad. And four articles about the project were written by Leeuwarder Courant.







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