It is often believed that in our current time most technology and scientific methodology has almost reached a level of true objectivity. Yet, looking at some patterns that occur in the anatomical sciences, we tend to have blind spots that are created by natural, artificial and cultural surroundings; the blind spots are then filled up with fantasy or interpretation. The blind spots have manipulated the image of our bodies in such a way that it fits to a certain era and culture.
In the last couple of months I have been working on creating my final thesis or position paper for my graduation project at iArts. Out of my research came Our Insides, a collection guided by curiosity; filled with histories, artworks and stories that explore the human anatomy. Next to writing the text I have also made a design fitting to the collection.
4 February 2016
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Below is the English summary of my thesis written for my graduation project at the Reinwardt Academie concerning the course Cultural Heritage.
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What expectations do museums and culture institutions in Maastricht have about the region’s candidacy as Cultural Capital of Europe 2018, and how justifiable are these expectations when compared to the results of previous Cultural Capitals of Europe in the Netherlands?
To answer these questions, qualitative interviews have been held with museums, culture institutions and certain individuals. The report is also supported by literature and archival research.
The main theme of the Cultural Capital of Europe Amsterdam 1987 was a Future for Ideas. The goal was to research, gather information, clarify and debate about the cultural identities of different European countries. The circumstances in 1987 weren’t optimal. At the time there was a high unemployment rate and there was a cut of one million guilders on culture in the city. The communications between the organization, museums and culture institutions were mainly focused on their directors. The role that was given to this sector was quite small. Some institutions lost interest in participating because of the restrained attitude coming from the organization, and the disappointment about the low budgets that were made available. There was an exhibition called Century 87, that was a success. It was one of few major events coming from this sector.
Rotterdam is many cities. This was the slogan of the Cultural Capital in 2001. Showing the many different characteristics of the city was part of the event. Rotterdam was proven to be a cultural city containing a rich and diverse composition of residents. The event took place in a favorable time. The government and the business sector both helped with the funding. A book was especially designed by the organization and sent to all cultural institutions in the city. In this book, the institutions could add their ideas and send them back. There was a lot of response, from the museums and presentation sector as well. Quite a lot of freedom was given to create activities. This happened because the goals of the organization could be used in many ways. Because of this, large and small institutions could make use of the advantages that came to be because of the event.
The main theme of the bid coming from the candidate Maastricht & Maas-Rijnregio was Revisiting Europe. The purpose of this theme is to revaluate and formulate the European identity. This goal was chosen because of the location of the region. It’s a representative for a number of countries. The circumstances the preparations are in are characterized by an economic crisis and strict cut policy in the cultural sector. The concepts that the bid contains are spread in a regular matter. Because of this the expectations are already partly created within the cultural sector. These are quite sober because they are about a candidacy. The institutions do foresee overlapping ideas between the collections and profiles of the institutions themselves. It’s one of the reasons why the general attitude about the candidacy is quite positive.
Now that the past, present and future can be compared, it is clear that the circumstances of Amsterdam remind us of the current situation in Maastricht. The attitude the museums and presentation institutions in Maastricht have so far are comparable to the attitude that the sector had in Rotterdam. Despite the expectations not being complete yet and being quite restrained, it seems that they look justifiable compared to the results of the previous Cultural Capitals of Europe in the Netherlands.
3 June 2013