The Self Design Academy

The Self Design Academy

Visit the expo online:

From self-malleability and self-realisation to selfcare and self-reliance, a good life seems to begin and end with a well-functioning self. A flourishing self-help industry is more than happy to assist us with books, workshops, courses and inspirational quotes. At the same time, our existence is determined by hyperrealities like climate change, mass migration, big data, and now a pandemic, that we as individuals can’t comprehend, leave alone influence. But can we at least try to understand our self? Can we start at a small level, with the I?

Emma Verhoeven - Escape Here Now (2020). Image: Boudewijn Bollmann

Thom van Rijckevorsel - It has all the colors and all the shapes and all the moves (2020). Image: Boudewijn Bollmann

In The Self Design Academy, a joint initiative of MU and Image Society, 18 artists and designers together with the visitors investigate how we can define, understand and design ourselves. Inspired by Mieke Gerritzen’s upcoming book Help Your Self about the ever-increasing popularity of the self-help industry, we focus on the creative strategies and techniques we can develop ourselves, and how to share these with others. At the same time, the Academy is a place of critical reflection on the malleability of the self. Is it actually necessary to constantly improve or (re)design ourselves, and if so: on whose terms? To what extend are we being formed by forces around us, and how do we (re)gain control? 

Hanneke Wetzer - Living Alone (together) (2020). Image: Boudewijn Bollmann

Marlot Meyer - LIMB-O (2020). Image: Boudewijn Bollmann

To integrate the real and virtual self as closely as possible, each work will be presented in real life in the Self Design Academy Space at MU and online at the Self Design Academy Site. Closely linked to the off- and online Academy, we will develop a  The Self Design Academy Share program of webinars, workshops and talks, which can be followed both at MU and on the website.

Alix Bizet - Afro Hair Futurity (2020). Image: Boudewijn Bollmann

Briony O Clarke - Attachment Theatre (2020)

MU Hybrid Art House and The Image Society. Curated by Mieke Gerritzen & Angelique Spaninks

Participants: Alix Bizet, Briony O ClarkeMargriet CraensJonas ErslandAnna Maria FinkAna Maria Gomez LopezBrigitte JansenIvi van KeulenJonathan LevainTom LooisMarlot Meyer, Paradyme, PentHouss, Thom van RijckevorselNoam Youngrak SonEmma VerhoevenHanneke WetzerZwermers

Together with Noam, Emma and Marlot, we look back on the exhibition. Via Zoom they reflected on their personal definition of self design and the way this came to life in their works, both offline at MU and online via Watch the videos via Vimeo or YouTube.