Beaver, Wampum, Hoes is an online, multimedia platform that focuses on 400 years of Dutch colonization in NY. It uses the 17th c. trade triangle (Beaver, Wampum, Hoes) as the thread that weaves anecdotes with facts in an attempt to ask broader questions about the affects of colonization and the largest imminent questions (land) concerning taking account of this history. In the 21st century beavers are back in town, Native American casinos provide an alternative yet controversial signature of financial support, hoes a homonym comprised of European goods as well as human commodity. Beaver, Wampum, Hoes measures accountability through a heterogeneous, collective exchange system.
Beaver, Wampum, Hoes is the latest installment of Ridgway’s nine-year ‘Manhattan Project’. Frequently involving audience participation along with the physical and intellectual recycling and reinscription of historic as well as contemporary positions, this project investigates the commonalities between the Netherlands and the U.S. Presented in public spaces and using an extension of this methodology on different materials/subjects, such as deerskin, flags, tulip bulbs, money/investment, speech, beaver, wampum, hoes, silver and gold, all are ‘killed’ and reconstituted as raw material that is particular to the colonization of North America. The ‘Manhattan Project’ may be seen as a kind of contemporary barometric reading of the cultural, economic and political relations between these two countries.
Virtus Vulgarus Hollandicus