Icon for Margaret



Margaret is an intervention.

Margaret is an experiment.

Margaret is an investigation.

Margaret is an idea.

Margaret is a vessel.

Margaret is a mirror.

Margaret is a question.

Margaret is a demand.

Margaret is a gesture.

Margaret is a tool.

Margaret is a parallel world.


On the 11th of July 2017 Margaret van Eyck was inaugurated in order to formulate a (feminist) alternative for the Jan van Eyck Academy. Throughout a procession leading through the building – containing a series of rituals encompassing poems, biographical information, library book turning, sing alongs and live mimeograph printing – every male-named workshop/lab within the Van Eyck was given a female counterpart. This new inauguration is a historical reference to original catholic inauguration of the Jan van Eyck 70 years ago.


As a last gesture in this new procession the interactive performance ‘Icon for Margaret’ was enacted. Taking place in a public staircase, this final ritual was not related to any lab but rather focussed on the circular icon that is part of the logo of the Jan van Eyck.

After the assembly of an orange sphere, the audience is asked to suck out the air from the orange sphere. By the vacuum created inside the sphere, the two hemispheres are held together by great force.

The silent performance uses ritual form to display forces of collective effort, teasing out the establishment of physical, ideational or interpersonal spaces.

The performance was physically archived in the Van Eyck archive in a custom wooden archival box containing all the pieces necessary to re-enact the performance.


Performance by Tom Kok


Performers: Rodrigo Sandoval, Maria Pääkkönen

With: Rosanne van Wijk, An Ongehena


An initiative by: Hagen Verleger


Photos: © Werner Mantz Lab / Elsa Stansfield Lab