Jan van Eyck Open Studio’s: EUROPE STARTS HERE, reading performance
From 9 till 11 March 2017 the Jan van Eyck Open Studio’s took place. During the Open Studio’s I presented a structure with the exact same measurements as the “Better Shelter,” a refugee tent developed in 2010 by the IKEA Foundation in collaboration with the UNHCR Refugee Agency. This structure was the context for the reading performance “Europe Starts Here” that took place every two hours. While the reading continued the structure would gradually be closed with flags, including the people that chose to be inside, and excluding those who chose to be outside.
“Europe Starts Here” explores the spatial and cultural expressions that shape the image of Europe. Today cultural highlights such as the Acropolis are presented as an essential aspect of the ‘European identity’. But for whom is this European identity created? Tourists, refugees, global shoppers, stateless persons and other adventurers, as travelers they arrive at the same borders and stopover in the same cities with an equal fascination for their destination, Europe, even though they are welcomed quite differently.
“Europe Starts Here” takes on a Grand Tour moving through different places, historical developments and current events that look into the way Europe deals with questions of identity, citizenship, culture and history in the context of the arrival of hundreds of thousands of refugees. The main question that underlies this tour is whether the tourist and the heritage site, the refugee and the camp are not both a result of the same paradigm. Tourist and refugee, in most respects they seem to be opposites, but what do they have in common?
From 9 to 11 March all the studio doors in the Van Eyck in Maastricht, the Netherlands, will be open for the annual Open Studio’s.
The participating artists, designers, architects and curators are displaying the results of their residency at the Jan van Eyck Academie in their studio’s and other locations throughout and beyond the building.
Participants Open Studios:
Abla elBahrawy (EG/NL)