in progress: an art project for the Tapijn by Robin de Puy
' screening diversity '
in progress: an art project for the Tapijn by Robin de Puy

Robin de Puy, the well-known Dutch art photographer is currently working on a unique art project "Screening Diversity" for the Tapijnkazerne of Maastricht University. In recent weeks, many photo shoots have taken place for this project, including with students from this university at the Bonnefanten Museum.You can read more about this last photo shoot in the Observant.

Explanation of this art project

The central part of the converted square building on the Tapijnkazerne has been given an extra floor, a basement over the entire length of the building. There are 22 screens for this long glass front that will be part of the temperature and light control of the complex. The art and heritage committee of Maastricht University saw an excellent opportunity to enrich those views of the Tapijn with '' exciting images '' that fit with what UM wants to be: inclusive, innovative, international and with a basis in the city of Maastricht.

Robin de Puy, known for her penetrating sensitive photo portraits and film documentaries, has been asked and has accepted to portray this face of the UM as a visual story.

The screens will be printed with black and white photos that allow both the photos and the movements to be seen from the inside. This work of art is expected to be executed in the coming months and will be opened at the same time with the festive official opening of the Tapijn.

The design

De Puy: " Diversity is an important theme at Maastricht University. It is the most international university in the Netherlands. Diversity will certainly be felt and visible in the work, but not by focusing on the differences, rather by celebrating the similarities.

Aspects of being human that everyone - regardless of where you come from - knows. Think of love, fear, focus, adolescence, aging, talent, daring, etc. The students do get a central place in this story.

The artist states: “Time at the university is for many an important and educational moment in his / her life. I want to show this by literally placing the students in the center of the wall. We see a timeline of life, from birth to death and in the middle we find the students. In this way I want to disconnect the university from intellect and connect it to something bigger. There is a place for everyone regardless of gender and / or origin. The wall should not only be interesting for students and teachers, but also for people / spectators in the park. A wall for and from all of us. "

Robin de Puy doubted for a long time whether she wanted to give the photos titles and background stories. Eventually she chose not to do this. She states:” Everyone has their own life story. By omitting the background stories, space is created to see one's own stories and to interpret the images in their own way.

De Puy hopes that everyone will recognize something of themselves - now or in the past.

© 2022 Art and Heritage Commission, Maastricht University