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"There's No Limit to an Artist!" A Critical Inquiry into Age-Related Policies and Experiences at the Jan van Eyck Academie

Toegevoegd op 6 december 2019 door Mevr. Tessa Groen

The saying goes that age is but a number. Yet, it is also so much more than that, as many authors in the field of aging studies or cultural gerontology have shown and as we discovered over six weeks of research. The topic of aging comes with many unspoken presuppositions which often implicitly regulate and influence our perception of what it means to grow and be older. As Research Master students from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (2017-2018), we collaborated with the Van Eyck Academie and Maastricht University, to conduct a qualitative inquiry into how such presuppositions play out in the art world. We focused on the context of Dutch post-academic art institutions, using the Van Eyck Academie as our primary case study. The first part of this case study focuses on the institutions and the second on the experiences of artists at Van Eyck. We conducted a literature review, a discourse analysis of policy documents, and a thematic analysis of interviews and ethnographic observations. Our main focus within Van Eyck was the Living Like an Artist program (from now on referred to as LLA), a pilot project that offered one-month residencies to three artists over the age of 40. Using the LLA program as a case study, we aim to answer the following main questions: (1) How are ageist assumptions experienced, resisted, and reiterated by professional artists?; and (2) What role do age-limiting policies play in this dynamic? We hope that this research and its recommendations will help to further the development of this program and age-friendly policies at the Van Eyck Academie.