dutch avatars: woman’s hand


In this installation the Dutch royal heraldic device 'Je Maintiendrai' (I will maintain) is written in a phonetic alphabet and in four different stenographic systems: Groote, Duployé, Aimé Paris and Calay. Stenography is a phonetic shorthand, and used to be taught mainly to women. There is a parallel with one of the writing systems from Japan: Hiragana. During the Heian period this writing system, also a phonetic script, was called 'onnade' or women's hand, as it was used mainly bij women, who were less educated than men, for writing literature. The four shorthand notations of 'Je Maintiendrai', executed in neon, resemble a luminous calligraphy.`