It is our pleasure – as graduates from the 2-year MA programmes in Fine Art and Design of the Master Institute of Visual Cultures (MIVC - AKV|St.Joost), 's-Hertogenbosch – to soon share our graduation projects with you, our audience outside the academy. We will do so in an unusual, though unique inside out time. Like many of you, we too moved indoors with the arrival of the COVID19 pandemic, or found ourselves locked in place in other ways. Our rooms became our studios, our computers turned into classrooms, and our practices and graduation projects were challenged to adapt to these new circumstances. We were suddenly asked to answer questions about materiality, physicality, and intimacy from a whole new angle. What do these concepts mean to us in our individual projects, and how do these meanings articulate themselves in a time where the digital is our predominant space of interaction? Dealing with these questions at the very end of your masters degree is a challenging inside out process in itself. But also one that brings new opportunities. Like the apt and completely-with-the-times inside out possibility to, for the first time in our academy’s history, bring our graduation show to you virtually.
As the theme of our graduation show – inside out – became more relevant during this pandemic, the questions we had been asking about it feel more urgent too. Because what does inside out imply today? At its simplest inside out means turning something that is on the inside to face the outside. It refers to the act of making your inner-workings – your thoughts, ideas, and images – visible to the outside world through your artistic and design practice. Such an act is also social. When we put our work out into the world, we establish the possibility for dialogue between the insides of ourselves and those of others. As such, inside out is a process of communicating perspectives. These perspectives can centre around how we present our identity to the outside world, or how the outside world places expectations on us. They can be perspectives from smaller communities within the world, which we might not hear or see, until we go inside and enter into interactions. As we weave through everyday life, the borders between these communities, ourselves, and others are in a constant flux, like liquid flowing through membranes. Therefore the act of going inside and out is not something we do once, but repeatedly, as we position and reposition ourselves to everyone and everything around us. Inside out is therefore also something fluid, rather than static, and is closely connected to where we place ourselves. These placements can be deliberate – ‘I position myself inside this community’ – but they can also be done by ourselves and/or others unconsciously, based on where we are born, how we understand our bodies, or how we are socialized culturally. Inside out is therefore also political, and turning your insides out – investigating your memories, dreams, and family histories – can be challenging and uncomfortable, even if doing so feels necessary and right. We might learn that our inner-perspectives support systems of oppression, belittling, bias, or hatred. Or that who we think we are or want to be is not chosen by us. Or maybe it does not fit with the times wherein we are born, the ways we want to behave, or the future we want to create. Finally, inside out draws out how we think about things in relation to each other, like indoors and outdoors, public and private, digital and physical spaces, or the earth seen from outer space and the earth seem from its crust. The answer to the question ‘what does inside out mean’ is thus one that is complex, and it includes many different and overlapping angles.
As graduates, we have spent the last two years engrossed in our inside out processes. We have constantly experimented and questioned what is hidden inside and outside ourselves, to reveal new knowledge, to grow as practitioners, and to transform the future into something else. Our individual projects each investigate and express the complex angles of what inside out means. Jiang Ruiou, for example, questions the endless capitalistic processes of forward progression, with a speculative world wherein people are now also perpetually awake. In a 24-hour live stream broadcast, visitors can experience what this sleepless life is like through the inner world of one girl. Lena Paβlick researchers false nostalgia. She uses analogue photography to express her visions, dreams, and feelings about a past she has not directly witnessed, into the outside world, via an artist’ book. Jesse van den Berg makes visible his perspective of queer intimacy as he himself experiences it within this community. His photos and videos show a side of queerness that is currently not (re)presented enough in daily life in the Netherlands. And Zeynep Gürsel studies how design can raise awareness about the interplay between our online and offline lives. Via a board game, she allows players to understand how their digital existence affects their IRL existence, and vice versa.
From our insides to your home, we have thus developed a special digital exhibition, with a plurality of curated content, including digital sculptures, videos, artists’ books, livestream performances, real-time online interactions, and much more. We will be live from 17th to 25th October, with a most festive digital opening on the 16th. We look forward to hosting and going inside out with you then!
The announcement on the platform link where the event will take place will be posted soon. Stay tuned!