Grazing Choreographies is a book that you can enter as a landscape, that has the suppleness of a field guide and lies in your hands like a meadow that needs to be grazed with all the senses you have.
The book contains 48 Plein Air pencil drawings of the grazing patterns of cows. Executed in the mountains of Engadin and the flat landscape of Groningen, every drawing comes with a text that describes the observation process.
Grazing Choreographies was released on June 17 with a celebratory book presentation during our solo exhibition Grazing and Other Choreographies at galerie dudokdegroot, as part of the Amsterdam Art Week
Grazing Choreographies from Groningen, The Netherlands (left) and Engadin, Switzerland (right)
Order directly from the artists
Order the book Graas Choreographies (€ 39,95 incl. VAT, excl. shipping costs) via the link below. The original drawings can be leaved trough at gallery dudokdegroot in Amsterdam on appointment.
Karen Polder has devoted herself to making an elegant and flexible book: from its handy size, the way the pages are folded, the particular binding method, the paper of the cover, the light and loose paper of the interior to the ‘grain direction’ of the paper. After all, the book ought to be allowed to travel, be something like a sketchbook, and unfold like a map.
Grazing Choreographies consists of forty-eight drawings of grazing patterns and a corresponding day/log, in chronological order. Grazing Choreographies is bilingual: Dutch and English. The first part takes you to the Swiss Alps’ mountainous landscape, where cows roam along steep slopes. In the second part, you travel to the flat Groningen landscape with its demarcated meadows like clean cut sheets of paper. The texsts take you on a journey: the grazing behavior and social interaction of cows, new ways of looking, signs of movement, and how one can try to control a sheet of paper in all kinds of weather.
From the 1st of November, you can follow the book as a feuilleton on Instagram, where you can see- and read along. Follow PolakVanBekkum there, or click here!
Mountains and plainsIn 2019 we went into the mountains near Engadin (Switzerland in cooperation with Somalgors74) and the flat land near Groningen to draw grazing patterns. With a water color pencil at hand and our gaze aimed uninterruptedly at the movement of the cattle.
‘Four Swiss Browns and one black and a white dairy cow roam the most southwestern corner of the alpine deposit. This was the first drawing. It ran against half-past three. The cows drifted towards the milking parlor. While this drawing was drying, we heard the shepherd and the dog coming to collect the party.’
The book has been published by uitgever Müller, who, as he himself puts it, ‘only publishes books when he really feels like it. Meaning: really’.
From 1 November 2020 to 30 May 2021 the drawings have been exhibitid at the beautiful small museum for contemporary art Het MOW in Bellingwolde, The Netherlands.
Grazing Choreographies is made possible by contributions from Het Mondriaan Fonds, the Jaap Hartenfund, arts initiative Somalgors74, Tschlin, Switzerland, and Foundation Stokroos.
Translation: Siji Jabbar.