Communal Enthusiasm

  • Category

    Curatorial Projects

  • Year


  • Type

    Group Exhibition

  • Location

    Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht, NL.

  • Role


The Jan van Eyck Academie has been welcoming participants of all stripes to Maastricht since it was founded in 1948. Catholic principles were at the heart of the academy when it was first established as a centre of education and training in the fine and applied arts. In its infancy a key mission of the organisation was to equip artists with skills that would enable them to contribute to the reconstruction and decoration of churches which lay in ruins in the wake of World War II. Since then there have been many successive developments; seven decades of experimentation and innovation. To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the academy, we present Communal Enthusiasm – an exhibition that sheds light on some of those who have shaped the institute since its foundation.

Curated by former participant Pádraic E. Moore, Communal Enthusiasm brings together works by academy alumni, advisers, staff, and directors. With the oldest items dating back to the early 1950s, this exhibition activates the archive and brings to light overlooked artworks; some of which have not been seen since their completion. Also included are technological remnants, administrative material and residues from previous exhibitions. Demonstrating how a propensity towards collaboration has always been a defining feature of the academy, Communal Enthusiasm invites us to consider the question posed by Anton Vidokle: What is work for an artist within our post-Fordist blur between life and work, freedom and alienation?

The portrait presented by this exhibition is not comprehensive; this is not an exhaustive survey. Nevertheless, the artifacts making up this exhibition do highlight particular tendencies that distinguish the history of this organisation. Communal Enthusiasm speaks of the secularisation of art; the rise and fall of particular aesthetic trends; how from the post war years onwards artisanal training in the arts gave way to technical skills and in more recent years to discursive forms of practice. Ultimately, this exhibition underscores the vital role organisations like the Jan van Eyck play in helping us imagine different ways of working, thinking and living together.

Works on show by:  Appie Drielsma, Raul Marroquin, Pieter Defesche, Silvia Baltus, C. Poerwadi, Ryan Gander, Megan Francis Sullivan, Alexandra Phillips, John Körmeling, Ruud Kuijer, Ben Brack, Wiel Arets & Wim van den Bergh, Harry Buckinx, Rudolf Bikkers, Knut Flatin, Bert de Hoog, Ron Bernstein, Hardi, Cedar Lewisohn, Rod Summers, Niek Hendrix, Servie Janssen, Gottfried Hundsbichler, Zohny Maguib, Linda Pollack, Petran Vermeulen, Geoffrey Salmon, Romy Finke, Dario D’Aronco, Imogen Stidworthy, Parasite 2.0, Margriet Thissen, Albert Troost, Yumiko Yoneda, Marine Kaiser, Orla Barry, Hooykaas/Stansfield, William PARS Graatsma, Navine G. Dossos, Lukas Smits, Andrea Éva Győri, Jo Frenken, John Latham, Aleksander Johan Andreassen, Kristina Sedlerova-Villanen, Norbert Grunschel, Helga Paetzold et al.