Together with artist Aimée Terburg, I recently started teaching a new elective course at Minerva Art Academy: Multiperspectivity: Exploring Identity. The course is part of the academy’s collaboration with the manifestation Bittersweet Heritage (Bitterzoet Erfgoed) which takes place from 18 February to 12 September 2022. During this cultural event, museums, heritage institutions, and cultural and educational organizations in the city and province of Groningen will examine the history of slavery and its effects.
Multiperspectivity: Exploring Identity dives into questions about who we are, how others see us, and who we can be. We investigate the relationship between the personal, the artistic, society and history; how are these dynamics intertwined; what is the impact of gender, race, ethnicity and culture, and sense of place in your artistic process? Understanding identity is also about examining and uncovering the otherness in our joint history and heritage through multiple perspectives.
Students will use their own starting point and practice to explore themes in a competency-based setting. Students’ research can relate to body, mind and senses, material, otherness, personality and self-development, language, cultural or ethnic identity, family history, sexuality and gender, or artistic heritage (any discipline). In short, we explore identity as a complex yet unlimited given; relational, fluid and constructed to unframe and reshape. Interconnectedness is a central element parallel to the regarded topics. At the same time, it refers to us as a collectively learning community.
As a class, we have the opportunity to work with several of the participating artists and organizations of Bittersweet Heritage. The class is also invited to present outcomes (in any form) during the manifestation. Like Bittersweet Heritage, we explore our past and vision for the future. Empowered by who we are, whom we can inspire as individuals, and what we can provoke as a collective.