Maurice Nuiten is my name, working as a visual research based multidisciplinary- artist and curator. I live and works in Roosendaal. I’ve studied Fine Art Photography from 2013 to 2015 at the Willem de Kooning academy in Rotterdam and obtained my Master of Fine Art in 2017 at the Master Institute of Visual Cultures AKV | St.Joost in ‘s-Hertogenbosch.
In the past I’ve been nominated for various prizes including the The Threshold Awards – Autonomous Practices, Municipality of Rotterdam (2015), Jong Ongekend Talent Award, by LeasePlan (2015), Best of Male Nude, Normal Magazine (2016), Young Talent Award from the Foederer Talenten Fonds (2016) and for the BLOOOM award (2017 and 2018). In 2015 I became the winner of “Self- Portrait” Self-Constructive in Bruges, Belgium and won the Audience Award October 2015 from Galerie Pouloeuff.
His work has been shown at Stedelijk Museum Breda, Breda (NL), Gallery Vasli Souza, Malmo (SE), RETHink Art Digital Festival, Réthymno (GR), Big Art (NL) and at several art initiatives, galleries and fairs in and outside of the Netherlands.
The core of my research is based around the idea of “happiness”, using the themes of bio-chemistry, the body, existential philosophy, astronomy, astrology and alchemy. As a doctor I try excludes what is mean to be happy to distill the ultimate outcome, total happiness. The time and space as a human in this day and age, with the knowledge, that being born is meaning to die is one of my motivations. The work method comes from life experiences and relates to the idea of a diary. Reseaching and Performance out of intuition forms the base of my work that manifest in different media. My visual language is characterised by clean lines, graphic elements and the body as a tool to tell a meta-fiction.
In my practice as a curator he has a focus on on personal stories, performance and lens-based media, queer-studies and gender-studies. With a critical view he produce shows that show what it means to be human in this day and age and how the personal is political.
Text written about me :
“You take somebody home, you rip each others’ clothe off, and have a fantastic night together – but they won’t put your clothes back on. That’s something you do alone.” : click to read
According to science, our happiness largely depends on seven neurotranmitters in our brain. These signalling agents, which make us feel good, are created in a variety of ways, for example during sex, whilst exercising or by eating chocolate. This knowledge forms an important starting point for the work of Maurice Nuiten. In the search for happiness, artist have no better means at their disposal than the human body, in his view. During his performances, photos. films, installations and text, he often uses his own body to make a visual translation of his desire for happiness. For Nuiten , happiness is closely linked to intimacy and vulnerability. His naked body, often manoeuvered into surrealistic poses, is exposed to the viewers’ subjective gaze.
Checking Out (2018), two polaroid that playfully refer to the party scene, represent an opportunity to temporarily escape everyday reality. The Party Would Never Stop (2019) shows a different side to this. In this film Nuiten sits on the floor naked, with is head and arms stuck into a large black balloon. The balloon deflates extremely slowly. The film is an ironic interpretation of a ‘pity party’: a moment of self-pity, as the last guest at a party gets lost in an exhausting lament about life. With this work, Nuiten shows that difficult moments, when happiness is hard to find, are sometimes worth showing the most.
Text Brenda Tempelaar, Raketstart Catalogue – Stedelijk Museum Breda
Visual artist Maurice Nuiten about the naked body and the role of performance in his art : click to read
On a very sunny Friday afternoon I ring the bell at Galerie MooiMan to view the Hollandse Nieuwe group exhibition. Maurice Nuiten (1990) is one of the artists whose photographic work can be seen here. Just before this I spoke to him via Skype: a conversation about substances that make people happy, sexuality and the strength and vulnerability of the body. “I started with photography being dressed, but I thought those clothes told too much.”
Nuiten is a visual artist in the broad sense of the word: his work covers photography, video installations, public performances, text, screen prints and murals. While studying photography at the Willem de Kooning Academy, Nuiten went in search of the limits of that medium. “The basis of my work is really performance,” he finally realized. As a viewer, we do not always see that performance itself, but it is essential for Nuiten: both as a form of research but also as a method to arrive at the final image.
WHAT IS HAPPINESS?
Although every medium has its own possibilities and raises its own questions, Nuitens work has a common thread. “I have long been concerned about why we are here and what that means, and I am currently focusing very much on the idea of happiness. Being happy is one of the big goals in life. ”Happiness is often a very personal experience, and Nuiten often draws from his own life, but he is also interested in the purely physical dimensions of happiness. “There are seven substances in our body that can cause a happy feeling,” he says. “They can be generated by many different things: bananas, chocolate, sex, breastfeeding, alcohol, sports, and so on. What would happen if you experienced all those fabrics at the same time. Is that possible? And am I really happy? In this way the issue of happiness also becomes a very scientific question, and I try to give it a visual answer.
The body forms a recurring motive to work out this theme. Nuiten says that after years of high-level gymnastics it feels very natural for him to work with the body and over the years the naked body became the main focus. “I started with photography being dressed, but I thought those clothes told too much: who you are, where you come from, which subculture you belong to. Then I changed my mind, you can leave those clothes out too. What will remain?”
The naked bodies – often that of Nuiten, sometimes that of good friends – amass a certain abstraction through the surrealistic poses, whereby the head is usually not visible. Yet it would be all too easy to answer Nuiten’s own question with a universal statement about “humanity”: the bodies, though anonymous, retain individuality. In their complete exposure to the viewer’s gaze, they also raise questions about sex and sexuality. “Sexuality certainly plays a role,” says Nuiten. “You take someone home, and you take the clothes off of each other’s body, you have a fantastic night – but they won’t dress you after that. That is something you do alone.”
NUMB / PETRIFIED
That last remark stays with me when I finally arrive at MooiMan, where I stand by two photos entitled Numb / Petrified, which assume a strong sense of vulnerability and perhaps also isolation. In the first I see a figure sitting on a stool and turned away from the viewer, who seems to be completely covered with plaster. In the second photo the figure is in the same pose, but a large part of the plaster has crumbled. “How should you move to make sure it lets go this way?” A friend who went along wonders. I immediately think back to what Nuiten said about the role of performance in his art. Perhaps that is exactly what makes his work so exciting for me: Nuiten manages to play visually with questions about visibility and authenticity, while at the same time touching on sincere emotions.
Text by : Ruby de Vos / 2019
For Maurice Nuiten life exists of moments.
Moments that define your freedom.
Moments that define your existence.
We are here and now but this is not a moment that will stay with us forever. Nuiten wants us to see the moments that he encounters and with this he wants us to feel his truth. Inspired by his personal life and the book “the little prince” he makes us feel a friction between the world and himself and the struggle he makes within this life.
He doesn’t make any great (political) statements with his work. What we see is more subtle and poetic, it is within the directness in the work that gives the viewer a feeling of discomfort that will stick with them throughout the exhibition.
Nuiten uses the reappearing image of his body as a tool. In the work “Boomerang I” and “Boomerang II” we can see the body as present and absent. We can feel the unnatural position the body is in and feel the struggle and pressure to perform. In the current time we all have a sense of pressure on everything we do, a need to prove ourselves and to perform on a level that is often to high to reach.
In the work “Only by gazing into the stars, you can see the past” you can see a similar uncomfortable position of the body. This work exists of a video shown on clothing of ex-lovers and one nightstands. We can see a part of the life of the artist that is almost too private, this can make you feel as uncomfortable as the artist must have felt while making the work. The work is so direct we are feeling his struggle in life and we can recognize a part of this in our own lives.
We can see by the use of different lens based media, performance, installation and text that this is part of his explorations. This gives him the opportunity to explore a broader field within the conditions of our existence.
Nuiten is telling us all the uncomfortable truth.
Text by : Roelieena Aukema / 2018
“When you are born, no one said it would be easy” is a quote from a new Dutch TV Series. We all try to make something of our lives an try finding a goal that makes life worth living. When we are asked how we are doing, we often respond with “good” our of courtesy without really saying how we truly feel. We are keeping up appearances, both in real life and social media. The works “Pity Party” (2017) and “Keeping up Appearance” (2017) are an impression of this feigned happiness. They were inspired by “Who is afraid of Virginia Woolf”, a play by Edward Albee that was made into a movie by Mike Nichols in 1966. The setting of the iconic house with a “white picket fence”, but were things are not what they seem. Where all underlying problems posed by career and love are solved with liquor, walking on your toes in this absurd world. Until that fatal point where it all burst at the seams. It is the same world Simone de Beauvoir describes in a different way in “Les Belles Images” from 1966. Nuiten is looking for the other sort behind this facade, inspired by existentialism and contrasting hedonism, using his own life to visualize this quest. Because we can always still keep up appearances, flee or live in a haze forgetting reality, but even escapism eventually becomes tiring.
Interview in Gaynews / 2018
The field of interest through which Maurice Nuiten conducts his artistic research is not something like Historiography, the Linguïstic Turn, Body-Politics, the Political, the Painterly, Performative or Cinematographic tradition or any other historically de ned artistic topic. Nor does he identify himself with identitarian constructs, by which people are grouped and group themselves together in shared worldviews, discourses and outlooks on life and politics. For Nuiten there can be no association with identity politics as tool to position oneself in and towards the world, and that so include and exclude themselves from that same world. None of these constructs serve as lens by which to assess and address the world.
The sphere and scope for this assessment and address is the subject and its body.
The body as tool for recognition of the personal and subjective as sole defining and worthy principle. The directness and confrontation with this corporeality is necessary to puncture the haze that the overload of information — as overload on our lives — presents to us. Our world has become small and emptied by the the virtuality of representation, of the I as avatar, as the empty shell that can be dressed at will by style and hype, propelled by the commodity mechanisms behind them. A remedial strategy against these effects of alienation and atomisation is the focus on the body. Which may be equally alien to us, but which at least composes a real and de nite frontline. The immediacy of the intimate space, often found as element in the work, equally counters, or tries to counter by indicating, the loss of connection to an empathic life.
In his work the body and the private sphere act as tools to regain some substance in a world devoid of matter.
In the work ‘Baby, Did you know we already moved already more then 768800 kilometers together?’
we see Maurice entangled with his friend. Two bodies. It’s a scene of directness, of almost embarrassing vulnerability and openness. Too private. We are made witness to a scene not meant for our eyes. We intrude. The protagonists are puncturing the boundaries of comfortable distance. Making us complicit to a world that while it pretends to it, knows of no privacy, a world where all emotions are commodities as all other, where the transparency of the intimate life becomes a problem. The narrative in the subtitles likewise speaks on the same level of intimacy. Addressing the viewer without the filter of accepted frame of artistic discourse.
In the work ‘10 Minutes of Yesterday for Tomorrows Memory’ the same discrepancy between private-ness an openness is explored. We hear a meticulous account via headphone of a first date in a voice that is personal. The headphone is connected to a makeshift wall behind which props and environs that are described in the audio-narration are installed. The scenes’ description and time are compressed, accessibility to it hindered. Memory is precious, encapsulating and embodying remaining space.
Nuiten does not call himself “photographer” in the medium specific sense of the word, performance, photography, lm installation and text are part of the explorations. The scope of instruments provides a broader pallet to address the conditions of our existence. Indeed the stance towards medium is the same as towards identification, or the relinquishing of artistic discourse. These all need to be discarded, as parts of the same information overload and orders of domination, in order to be able to puncture through what they represent
Text by : Jack Segbars / 2017
The Little Prince, that’s the name of the film about him that can now be seen during the Dutch Film Festival. Photographer Maurice Nuiten lives, just like “Le Petit Prince” from the famous French fairy tale between dream and reality … : click to read
“What if it is not true what we think?”
“That is the question I ask in the film. Surrealism is in my work. It is often about escaping reality. Like in Alice in Wonderland, the Truman Show. But also about what that reality actually is. ”
Would you rather be somewhere else?
“Dad, Mom, can I live in the clouds? I asked as a child. It seemed nice and quiet there, because the world is more beautiful in my head than in reality. ”
What do you think about earthly life?
“I watch the news every day and I see a lot of accident and violence. In the Netherlands, we are mainly confronted with performance pressure in daily life. We live in a world of unknown possibilities. But what’s behind it? Loneliness?”
Why are you the Little Prince?
“The Little Prince, in the French story of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, looks at the world with a kind of open-mindedness. I have always had the feeling that I look at the world differently than others. The film is about escaping from the village where you come from, breaking free from parents and developing your own identity. ”
At the art academy you will be surrounded by like-minded ..
“I came from an environment where art played no role, but I ended up in the art world. With fellow students I can reflect on my work. They see things that I don’t see. ”
What is the work that is now in Pouloeuff about?
“My photos are a registration of a performance. For this “Director of Reality” series I had deep conversations with friends. The kind that you have after a bottle of wine. Often it was about how to disappear, the human body, alienation, dreams, society. We went to work with those stories. The result is a registration of their inside. ”
Your work looks surreal, has it been manipulated?
“I photoshop nothing, it’s all reality.”
Text by : Juliëtte de Swarte / 2015
Maurice Nuiten sees Alchemy as a human quest for happiness. Lust and gratification is the gold that is sought in its Spatial collage. That the ambition does not lead to happiness, but only to a temporary peak, then the depression is just as large as the achieved satisfaction. He sees this as an unavoidable consequence. There is nothing else to do than to go for it again, and again, and again …
Text by: Eelco Van Der Lingen / 2014