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Acad­emy of Fine Arts Alum Kristin Wiking in res­i­dence: Jan van Eyck Academie 2023

Jan van Eyck Academie is a place for artists, designers, writers, curators and architects. Here, each participant gets time, space, and expertise to develop their artistic practice in depth. The academy is a place for research, experimentation and creative collaboration. The relative remoteness of the semi-rural city of Maastricht contributes to an intensity of focus. 

Kristin Wiking, photo: Romy Finke

There were a lot of dinners and parties and presentations where the participants showed their projects and ideas. We had a lot of studio visits with participants and with invited artists, designers, curators, and researchers. The focus was on the civil significance of art, design, and other creative methods in relation to the climate crisis, environmental destruction and their multiple effects. What art can do and for whom. 

The residence at Jan van Eyck Academie was not only a place for artistic development but also a social meeting place. The corridors turned into spontaneous stages for conversation, and even a quick visit to the bathroom meant getting caught up in social interactions. The best thing about the residency was indeed getting to meet so many people, and from all over the world. It puts your culture and habits into perspective, and you learn a lot of new things about people. 

Jan van Eyck Academie has historically played a decisive role in the development of the work of many artists, I was told. I have also heard numerous stories of past participants who have created masterpiece after masterpiece. There was a lot of pressure, especially from myself. During the spring, we had open studios where lots of people came. It basically became one big exhibition. 

Photo: Romy Finke

During the residency I explored new working methods and ideas based on experiences, directly and indirectly taken from social contexts. A work that includes confusions, humour, misfortunes, as well as misunderstandings. In these endeavours, the results flowed in a completely unsuspecting way. I often had the feeling that my art and my research did not quite fit in with Jan van Eyck Academie. I was probably a bit odd. Even so, my time at the residency still made me realize the strength of my own work and the ability to assert its importance. 

Jan van Eyck Academie was a place where many things could happen. 

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