Three-screen video installation
The video installation titled “What Worlds Make Stories” aims to untangle the mythology of the unicorn to show how the hidden violence within this narrative can be read as a metaphor for our relationship with the planet. The work shows two monsters in dialogue about the history of the unicorn. The two characters, Seamonk and Hagfish, are based on illustrations from Aldovandi’s Historia Monstrorum. In their conversation they highlight two different forms of knowledge that are represented in our society. The Seamonk, with his pointed beard and friendly eyes, embodies a type of Western knowledge that believes itself to be objective but ultimately is not. The Hagfish, with her blob-like form and an antenna on her forehead resembling a sea devil, speaks in more esoteric terms. Her role is akin to that of an oracle, while Seamonk could be seen as a representation of Western scientific thought.

The unicorn in the center of “What Worlds Make Stories” is based on the Guericke Unicorn, also known as the Unicorn of Magdeburg. This seventeenth-century reconstruction of bones is intended to represent a unicorn but is actually composed of the skull of a rhinoceros, the legs of a mammoth, and the horn of a narwhal. The reconstruction is located in the Museum fur Naturkunde in Magdeburg, Germany.

In addition to the Unicorn of Magdeburg, the work draws inspiration from early Renaissance tapestries featuring unicorns, particularly “Unicorn Rests in a Garden” from the Unicorn Tapestries (1495-1505) housed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. In this artwork, the unicorn rests within a fence surrounded by countless varieties of flowers.

It is executed in the French mille-fleur tradition (literally, a thousand flowers), where each depicted flower holds specific symbolism. For example, the white lily and blue iris symbolize purity. Each flower chosen intentionally underscores the purity of the unicorn. In “What Worlds Make Stories,” the unicorn resides in a similar field of flowers. Throughout the work, the composition of the field changes in tandem with the dialogue’s content. The digitally reconstructed flowers by the artist each carry a unique meaning that emphasizes the tone of the conversation.


Photo’s by Jostijn Ligtvoet and Ben Nienhuis

Special thanks to:

Noa Kurzweil – voice Hagfish
Joe Geoffrey – voice Seamonk

Studio Post Neon 
Jeremy Renoult
Jim Brady
Niels Moolenaar

Thomas de Rijk

Karindra Perrier
Sarah-Lynn Huizing 

Maia Kenney
Martin Crasborn
Eline Becht
Julia Jung

Willem Twee
November Music
Mondriaan Fund