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WELCOME TO THE BACKSTAGE
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Projection test for the Names memorial, the room is still empty now. Our Colonial Inheritance

24.05.2022 at 15:17 by Wendy Snoek

Growing steel structures. Growth, what is that?

05.04.2022 at 14:00 by Lucandrea Baraldi

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The ideal spot for the Herron. The Voice of Urban Nature

21.03.2022 at 10:33 by Herman Kossmann

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Artist Celia Smith installing here birds warm sculpture. Groote Museum

23.02.2022 at 17:02 by Michel de Vaan

Slowly towards the opening on the 8th of February! Our Land

01.02.2022 at 17:34 by Remco Swart

Together with photographer Sander van den Bosch, we are measuring and photographing all floors of the palace. Visitors will soon be walking on 'invisible' carpets, in order to experience the original atmosphere of the rooms as fully as possible. Paleis Het Loo

26.01.2022 at 12:54 by Robin Schijfs

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Carefully lifting a python snake skeleton. Groote Museum

24.01.2022 at 14:13 by Michel de Vaan

After all those days at home behind a screen, it is very nice to finally do some hands-on experimenting with projections and different layers of transparent fabrics... Nature

07.12.2021 at 17:33 by Pauline Fer

Work in progress for Museum Sophiahof. In progress…

02.12.2021 at 17:28 by Remco Swart

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Work in progress for a children's tour Work in Progress

25.11.2021 at 09:35 by Annika Jacobs

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Barefoot in an exhibition? Together with the Stapferhaus, we are looking at what this means for the perception of the visitors... Nature

24.11.2021 at 18:23 by Robin Schijfs

With a few kickoff days (and nights) in the mountains of Switzerland, we have firmly started the draft design for the new Nature exhibition at the Stapferhaus! Nature

30.09.2021 at 11:09 by Robin Schijfs

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Cleaning out tree routs before they will be lifted to the ceiling Groote Museum

25.09.2021 at 12:29 by Michel de Vaan

Milling earth elevation minus water from a special foam. Here we show how little drinking water there actually is on earth. Groote Museum

30.06.2021 at 12:04 by Michel de Vaan

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Super exiting moment discovering the panels of the « 4 visions on the Anthropocene » box we made for the Vienna Biennal 2021! Work in Progress

12.05.2021 at 12:00 by Lea Chenot

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A big empty space, right before installing all exhibits at WeTheCurious! Project What If

01.02.2021 at 12:19 by Ina Meininghaus

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Safety vs. functionality: looking for the best headphones to use in a factory Expedition HVC

07.01.2021 at 17:39 by Roel Bolhuis

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The new temporary exhibition in House of European History is 'under construction' Fake (f)or Real

07.01.2021 at 17:32 by Tsur Reshef

On view

Mortal by nature

Death

Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden (NL)

Nine new exhibitions can be found in the new Naturalis building, two of which we have designed: the introduction room Life and the exhibition Death. On the top floor – where your visit ends – we have created a special exhibition about a subject that affects us all: death. We want to show that death is an inevitable part of the cycle of life, and of the seasons. As such we designed the exhibition in a poetic, friendly, and accessible way.

Location
Leiden (NL)
Client
Naturalis Biodiversity Center
Year
2019
Surface
500 m2
Status
Permanent
Role
Concept, spatial design, graphic design, art direction
Team
Niels de Jong (lead), Mark de Jong, Remco Swart, Sietske Sips, Martijn Sas, Michel de Vaan, Roel Bolhuis
Construction
Kloosterboer Decor
Light design
HeinzLoopstra
Film, animation
Shosho
An intimate exhibition

What you see affects you very personally. You walk through a labyrinth of matte black steel panels perforated with large holes. Through each different hole you see a quiet, intimate and beautifully lit scene that makes you look at death in a new way. Skin cells dying. A heron choking to death on a fish stuck in its beak. A gorilla looking his own skeleton in the eye. This exhibition shows that death is all around us, all the time.

Death is a maze to wander through

You turn a corner and stand face to face with a deer that has just been hit. You can light a lamp for someone you’ve lost. Hear the sound of crows everywhere. Ask yourself if it’s normal kill a fly with a fly swatter. A marten becomes a fur coat while maggots, skin beetles, flies, and carrion beetles feast on its rotting carcass. You will encounter death in all its forms.

 

The cycle of life

You enter a circular space at the heart of the maze to watch a compelling film. Summer becomes autumn. Autumn becomes winter. Winter becomes spring again. This cycle can also be seen in animals that become food for other animals. Leaves turn into humus. You see and feel that death is always the beginning of new life. In actual fact the exhibition really only has one focus: life!

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Awards

European Museum of the Year Award 2021

Winner