Photographer:Fotograaf: Loraine Bodewes
MAASTRICHT. What would be your ideal place to grow old and die? This was the starting question for the second-year iArts students when they began work on their exhibition Senescence, from 6 to 8 November in the Kunstkwartier. “Quite a broad topic, but we managed to make it even broader, to ageing and dying in general”, laughs Suzanne Dekker, one of the students.
The seven students each explored the topic in a different direction. Questions included what actually happens to you on a biological level when you age, how do different cultures treat and value their elderly, what tales of immorality have been told throughout history, and how aware are you of the fact that one day you will die?
All students conducted academic research, made a piece of art and helped put the exhibition together. In short, they served as the artists, curators, producers and researchers. “We decide everything ourselves, except for the venue”, says Larissa Hermanns. This is typical for iArts, a joint study programme of the Maastricht Academy of Performing Arts, the Maastricht Academy of Music, the Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts and Design at Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Maastricht University. The programme was launched three years ago. The students work on projects that vary in topic and discipline, but are based around one of the four domains: arts & society, arts & culture, arts & entrepreneurship and arts & science. “We work on the project three days a week; the other two we get what are called ‘baseline’ classes: cultural theory, design, etc.”, says Dekker.
With a study programme so broad and interdisciplinary, the students are often asked ‘what will you become when you’re done?’ Given the range of possibilities, it’s not something they worry about themselves. “We have to create our own jobs”, says Leana Bekker. “I think it will be project based or maybe combining several part-time jobs. A lot of our guest lecturers are self-made people; they don’t really fit in one box either. They show us that if you work hard and stand for what you believe in, you can do whatever you want.”
Senescence, 6–8 November, 14.00–20.00, Kunstkwartier