Most of my projects can be seen as an ongoing process of arranging, analysing, and archiving — a fluid place of storage. A method to understand my relation to fellow humans, objects, and spaces. Being perceived and perceiving. So I started photographing places that show traces of social mobility. Capturing my surroundings and suddenly seeing coincidental recognizable aspects of places and situations. Places that show our passage and dynamics. Places where poor to rich - and rich to poor - show themselves in the landscape. I think it is a good reflection of the way art works. As you move up in your career, how do you change the way you talk? The way you walk and move and sell your work? But also, how do the mental layers underlying our daily routines, perceptions and ideas reflect?

One of the original photos on Inish Óirr in colour.

This work was first on show at the City Hall exhibition in Leiden. On view for three months, the exhibition was part of various events in the city such as the Kunstroute and Leiden Art Science Week. Voor de Vorm opened the conversation about Leiden’s maker climate and the versatility of contemporary makers. The exhibition opening was in the same week that the municipality decided to pull all cultural funds due to budget issues with the municipality building. The triptych has flexible pricing. If you paste stickers on it, you can change the amount of money I would receive for the work. Each red sticker subtracted €50 from the price. Each black sticker adds €50. People may make the work free. But the cheaper you go, the less of the work you’ll see.

One of the original photos on Inish Óirr in colour.

Price: €1000,- per work
(start price, including frame)
- €50,- per red sticker – per work + €50,- per red sticker – per work Price bottom €1,-
Price ceiling €2000,-

PENNY’S VOOR DE PRACHTFramed triptych,
inkjet on Epson Luster paper edition of 3 +3AP.
Signed and numbered on the back. 80 x 60 cm

Photographed on the island of Inisheer (Inis Óirr) April 2023
Exhibited at Fuse Un/Settled 2023 & Voor de Vorm Leiden City Hall 2023_

The triptych on a concrete pedestal during build-up at Fuse Un/Settled
On show at Fuse Un/Settled

Nine red stickers. Seven black stickers, (one is hiding under the pallet). €800.
Seven red stickers. Five black stickers. €900.
Six red stickers. Four black stickers. €900.

For the exhibition at Fuse, I was asked to do a small artist talk at the opening. Questions were asked by the visiting public and the curator.

To the right, you can find a (translated) transcript of the best questions.

Q: Would you rather work with other people or alone?

A: Together, there’s a ping-pong of ideas going on then. You can pass work back and fort and get instant 

Q: Were people scared to sticker?

A: Yes, I had the first stickers pasted by friends. After that, people started playing with the composition, being afraid to make the work ‘ugly’.

Q: Was there a limit of stickers people could paste?

A: No.

Q: So they could make the work free?

A: Yes.

Q: And where there rules to how people could sticker the work?

A: No, and sort of yes, you should not sticker on the wall. That’s just rude. But the frame, backside, and full print are cool.

Q: How does the stickering change the meaning of the work?

A: It’s about the price of art. If you’d like to take the work home for free, you can. Free artwork, but ruined with stickers.

Q: Is it really ruined then, or do people think it actually adds to the art?

A: Yes, that’s the point. I’m hoping it will eventually become a nice sticker-relief.
Q: Could you tell us something about your work?

A: Yes, I’m Maaike. Originally a graphic designer. Not an artist at all. Since 2019 I’ve been photographing every day to get better at it. Sort of a photography diary. I noticed that I liked shooting at places where social mobility is visible.

Q: When you sticker the price amount to free, you won’t be able to see the artwork anymore right?

A: Yes, you’d have to think about what you actually bought then.

Q: You said you exhibited this work in multiple places. Both at the municipality and in smaller exhibition spaces. Were there differences?

A: At the municipality, people were really afraid of stickering on the work. Men in suits had to get a little bump to start “ruining the artwork”. In the younger galleries, people think it’s fun. They start thinking about where to sticker and how it changes the picture.

Q: About your way of working, do you like working in the morning or the evenings?

A: Mornings.

Q: Other people sticker your work. Where lies the balance in it being your work, or a gesamtkunstwerk of viewers? Do you like people adding to your work?

A: The best works don’t have a solid ending. It’s good to say: “I’ll just try it.” I’ll see where it will end
and what it will look like. Coincidence plays a big part in my work. Whether through analogue printing techniques, where you don’t have full control over the end result, or through fluidity in ideas, form, or transience. Art is always in relation to the narrative, and a narrative is never linear. So neither should be the art.