With every edition of the Dutch Dictionary new words are added, however some words are erased; those which are considered extinct. Out of concern about the understanding of the concepts that lost words describe, these words were tracked down. After getting informed on the criteria of lexicographers the effort to reanimate a single word - doodsreutel (death rattle) - began. A word indeed describing death, while it itself had ceased to exist. By consistently publishing this word in the public domain the chance grows for it to return to the dictionary. This objective started by placing an obituary advertisement for the lost word in a Dutch national newspaper. Other articles and obituaries have since followed, many in collaboration with other Dutch writers.

On the same day the first obituary advertisement was published in De Volkskrant, a performance in collaboration with artist Oscar Santillán took place within the historical library of the Artis zoo in Amsterdam, in which a call of an extinct bird was played in a fugue.
Performative act. Ongoing (obituary) advertisements in Dutch national newspapers, magazines and journals.

Many thanks to: Jamal Ouariachi, Maartje Wortel, Sven en Gerliene Schleiper-Karssenberg, Babs Bakels, A.F.Th. van der Heijden, Rebekka de Wit, Isabel Harlaar, Luuk Heezen, Pieke Werner, Joep van Ruiten, Kees Keijer, Sander Becker, Jan Postma, Frank Meurs, Zoe Spaaij, Xandra Nibbeling and Floor van Luijk for yet reanimating doodsreutel.
first image: by Heidi Vogels

following images: obituary advertisements and other publications of ‘doodsreutel’

last two images: exhibition view at TENT Rotterdam, where all publications that mentioned ‘doodsreutel’ within the duration of the exhibition ‘Wat ik je nog wilde zeggen’ were displayed.

©2021 Vibeke Mascini. All rights reserved.