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What's Eating the Chinese Mitten Crab?

If a theatre play were to be written, telling the story of the Anthropocene, who would be the typical protagonists? Man of course loves to see himself centre-stage. But who are the other agencies at stake? In terms of other species, you could talk about those on the brink of extinction, or wiped out for good. This exhibition, for instance, features the Baiji. The charismatic freshwater dolphin is extinct since 2007. A play with such characters - perpetrators vs. victims - would not only be depressing, but pretty one-dimensional. The truth is that many other species, micro-organisms, fungi, plants and animals, are doing pretty OK in the ruins of capitalism. One of these is the subject of this small exhibition: eriocheir sinensis, the (Chinese) mitten crab, a remarkably versatile acrobat, long-time inhabitant of the city of Bruges, now guilty of faring well. The show wants to dive into the crab’s habits and motivations while, for once, suspending judgment. This is not to excuse the species of harming local biodiversity. But to recognize the fair share of responsibility we as humans bear in the present situation.

This exhitibion/installation, a projet for Triënnale Brugge 2018, is visible in the Poorterloge, Bruges, every day from 12:00 to 18:00 until Sept. 16, 2018. It is paired to Who’s eating the Chinese mitten crab? an art-work and set of culinary performances on the beach of Zeebrugge-bad for Beaufort 2018.


External collaborators


This installation was made possible thanks to the active aid of the following partner institutions:

Associated partners

Thanks to

Tim Adriaens, Dieter Bruneel (UGent), Etienne Branquart (SPW - Département de l’Etude du Milieu Naturel et Agricole), Delphine Boniver (Favv - AFSCA), Heidi Ballet (Beaufort), Julie Carlier (UGent), Paul Clark (Natural History Museum, London), Arthur Devlieger, Bram D’Hondt (ANB), Cédric d’Udekem d’Acoz (KBIN), Hans De Blauwe, Heidi de Moor (Mendop vzw), Jan Desmet (Mendop vzw), Karine De Batselier (milieudienst stad Brugge), Rik Debeer, Annelise Folie (KBIN), Frans Fierens (KMYCA), Eva Giolo, Karin Giele (Natuurpunt), Linde Galle (INBO), Mark Godfrey (Seafoodsource News), Tom Gantois (Architectuuratelier Dertien12), Yue Gu, Dominique Henrard, Benjamin Haas, Geert Heyneman, Melissa Jin, Tao Jin, Dominique Loreau, Hannes Ledegen (Natuurpunt), Heike Lust (VLIZ bibliotheek), Jeroen Lemaitre (Animaux Spéciaux), Antoine Meert, Delphine Misonne (USL-B), Eva Neefs, Bernardo Robles Hidalgo, Jens Ruppenthal (DSM), Xavier Rollin (SPW - Service de la pêche), Evi Swinnen, Günther Seherr, Jonas Schoelynck (Universiteit Antwerpen) Karel Spiessens, Petra Schütz (DSM), Sophie Seys (USL-B), Geronimo Saey, Yves Samyn (KBIN), Anna Tsing (UCSC), François Thoreau (ULG), Robin Thiers (UGent), Shohei Takeuchi, Yoshiharu Tsukamoto (Atelier Bow Wow), Hugo Verreycken (INBO), Justin Van Aerden, Paul Van Loon (VMM), Philippe Vierin (NoA architecten), Stefan Van Leeuwen (RIKILT - Wageningen University & Research), Toon van Daele (INBO), Valérie Van Haute (Westtoer), Zhang Wenhai, Benedikte Zitouni.

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