Ancestor Incognito I | Possible Pappa’s

This project is part one of the Ancestor Incognito project. Click here for part two.

Possible pappa’s consists of a serie of 8 portraits, audio stories and objects connected to potential men that could be my spermdonor. In the time that I was concieved spermdonors most often donated anonymous. There was no law yet forbidding anonimous donation. In my youth I often had dreams about who my donor could be, a famous star, a hobo, a boring man with a 9 to 5 office job or maybe not even a man! By combining my dreams with existing people and traits of myself I created these portraits that reflect the thought process and dreams a donorchild might have.

Read 2 of the portraits

Christof Bröner

My donor’s name is Christof Bröner, aged 42. He is a famous composer and conductor known worldwide for his new take on Gregorian chant. In his new compositions he combined sampled pop lyrics with  a monotonous chant. During his young famous years Christof held a lot of wild bets with friends and colleagues. With a colleague conductor he made a bet about who could conduct a full concert whilst emptying a bottle of an alcoholic beverage throughout the concert. They hid the beverage from the crowd by dividing the alcoholic beverage into little bottles they were wearing around their waist. Sneakily they drank from the little bottles, well hidden beneath their clothes, after each movement in the piece. If you lost the bet you had to donate your sperm because both of them hated the idea of having children. They enjoyed their wild way of living and children didn’t fit in this lifestyle.  Christof lost, and in this way became my donor.

Years later he watches the news telling about donor children searching for their donor. Quickly turning of the tv he takes a cigarette and walks outside to his porch where the sun shines bright. He tries to focus on the cigarette and pushes away the thoughts of the children that possibly now exist because of his lost bet. Music, he thinks, I should write some new music, and walks inside where to hear the news playing on the radio, a story about the lost Donor-administration of a few big hospitals in the Netherlands.

He sighs, happily. The weight of life on his shoulders seems to lift creating a vacuum for his egocentric thoughts wherein the word responsibility does not exist.

Daniël Dorpsman

My donor’s name is Daniel Dorpsman. He was aged 50 when he died by crashing his private airplane into a tree, getting spiked on a sharp branch.

Daniel was born in a large villa in Den Haag as the son of the rich owner of a big medicine factory. His mother and father struggled to conceive. After years of trying, finally David was born. Later, he got a little sister, but both her and his mother died due to complications at birth.

His father’s job inspired Daniel to study medicines. He finished his studies Cum Laude with a research into the efficiency of IVF. Afterwards he specialised in sorting out genetically healthy spermatids of sperm donors. When he became successful in his practice he decided to use this technique at his own spermatids of which some carried the genetic disorder Cystic Fibrosis. A disorder that can make men infertile. After his sorting, he was so proud of his super spermatids that he collected them in large quantities and used them for the insemination of women searching for a sperm donor. That is why there are many donor children in the Netherlands genetically connected to him. Although this has never been proven since his wife does not want to give genetic information from his body after he died. She is afraid it will lead to the public fall of her famous husband.

Skykey, 2023