The snails enroute

A performance / installation project
by Sonja van Kerkhoff, Jacqueline Wassen & Sen McGlinn.
Kuala Lumpa airport transit hall, Malaysia

We decided to air two of the snails for about an hour in the Kuala Lumpur airport on the way to Aotearoa / New Zealand.

On the whole people ignored them and the snails looked odd in the glitsy environment. Even Tamatea and I stood out because everyone stared -often with a look of distaste- at us as they passed by with their trolleys. It was a strange environment. Everyone was pacing from one shop to another and standing there we felt as if we were standing in the middle of a highway, although we were not standing in the way at all. There seemed some sort of "rule", that one doesn't just stand around in the open here, you walk. Yet, everyone was waiting for a flight and the Malaysian workers there were very polite.

So even though few people looked at the snails for more than a few moments, they still functioned as alternative "time-zones".

These texts ran in a spiral fashion on the surface of each snail form:

Holding my breath to hang on to time -te wa o nga hau iti. The Maori translates as: the place, time, space of small (short) breaths

Art is culture intertwined with nature however many times removed.

Most people glanced them without stopping and a some stopped briefly to read them.

I thought either travellers don't have time (for art or for the unfamiliar) when in a transit lounge or that they are so busy or tired or anxious that they don't want any diversion.

I was not disappointed, in fact I found it fascinating that people seemed to do their best to act as if they had not noticed the black forms.
Perhaps they hadn't.

Other locations for this work (2000 onwards)

Artwork arranged chronologically    By Sen + Sonja    Sonja's c.v.    Sonja's Design page    A tour via thumbnail images