The artist feels right at home at this utopian art and design institute, which also welcomes visitors for events and the best coffee in town
I first discovered the Jan Van Eyck when I was visiting Maastricht to do an exhibition. I just walked past this slightly mysterious looking building and wondered what was going on inside. It’s quite subtle, but beautiful: a modernist building designed by Fritz Putz – a cool, glass and concrete structure, very minimal. Once you’re inside it’s like a temple of light. Inside art production goes on; people make art and people think about making art. And they also think about design, which is taken very seriously in the Netherlands.
I’m eight months into a one year residency there. There are very few places like this in Europe – a post-academic place where you can just come and stay. There are no restrictions put on you. It’s quite utopian in a way, without wanting to be too overenthusiastic. But there’s a lot for day-to-day visitors too. It’s open to the public and if you feel like a bit of art theory then Thursday evening is a great time to pop by. Most weeks there’s a presentation where either the resident artists present their work or guest visitors (often theorists or thinkers) present their work or films and then hold discussions or debates.