is an attempt to engage first and second year students of the Jewellery – Linking Bodies department of Rietveld Academie with the upcoming exhibition at the Huygens’ Hofwijck Museum. The exhibition explores the life and work of Constantijn Huygens, through his diverse interests, letters, recipes and oeuvre. The students were offered an in depth, fascinating research by Ineke Huysman, that illustrated Huygens’ glorified personal biography, as portrayed by means of personal letters and reminiscences of an individual now long gone; brought the students attention to the timely social privilege of Huygens that allowed him to delve into ephemeral research, travels and the practice of alchemy.Confronted with the shadows characterising the age in which Huygens lived, many questions and doubts started to arise, and the students started critically reflecting on the privileges characterising their own contemporary life. How to react to glorified history filled with shadows of injustices and privileges? The students were encouraged to follow their feelings and intuitions to allow reacting to such provocative questions, also reflecting on the feeling of alienation emerging from the analysis of Huygens as a man, and of his practice. How to address such a gap, while reflecting on human values, and relating those to materiality and to the body, within the framework of such vast historical time? Whether consciously or intuitively, the students were drawn to and challenged by the shadows and the margins, and were asked to shed a light on the blurry and hidden facts, as in a constant balancing exercise between critical awareness and overall excitement.
All photos are made by Konstantin Guz Konstanta Vision