color, sound

17 minutes


original installation at Manifesta10:

two channel video installation: one with English subtitles and the other with Russian subtitles

wood, screws, acrylic paint, xerox photo copies

3000 x 200 x 200 cm



In 2014 Erik van Lieshout was invited by curator Kasper König to make a new work for the Manifesta Biennial 10 in Saint Petersburg, which would take place in The Hermitage Museum and it’s additional General Staff Building. Erik van Lieshout decided to be a resident in the basement of The Hermitage where stray cats are being cared for -with little money – by female volunteers. The cats are supposed to catch the mouses wandering around in the museum.

Van Lieshout worked in the basement for two months, making drawings, filming and cleaning and renovating the head quarters of the cats and their volunteers.  The final film was shown in the General Staff Building, a 10 meters high space. The installation for the film copied the proportions of the basement: a tunnel construction of 2 meters at it’s highest point, emphasizing the contrast between the official world, and the hidden world underneath. At a ‘cross road’ two versions of the film were shown: the version with English subtitles and the version with the Russian subtitles in which the word ‘fuck’ (in saying and writing) had to be hidden by a black beam or a beep. The tunnel interior showed xerox photo copies of Van Lieshout’s drawings and photos of the cats in the basement, in this way serving as political pamphlets pasted on walls.



Erik van Lieshout


Erik van Lieshout
Kuba Szutkowski


Suzanne Weenink
Dragan Bakema and Kuba Szutkowski - Popov Film- who also appear in the film renovating the basement
Manifesta10 team


Core van der Hoeven

thanks to

Tatiana, Irina, Zoja, Mila, Irina, Georgy,
Mikhail Piotrovsky

with the financial support of

Mondriaan Fund, The Netherlands Film Fund, OUTSET NL, W.E. Jansenfonds

commissioned by