Local Goal Getters Rick Alberigs & Eric Meyer

Local Goal Getters Rick Alberigs & Eric Meyer, Founders of Take Twee, individual narratives collectively tell a story

For this week’s Local Goal Getter, we had a heartwarming conversation with Rick Alberigs & Eric Meyer, the founders of Take Twee. Take Twee symbolizes an artistic collaboration of two generations, who co-created out of affinity with each-others content. They have an understanding despite having dissimilar experiences, from technical skills to diverse backgrounds. Additionally, they do not settle for a single take instead they aim to portray depth and a multi-layered character. Take Twee especially gives the opportunity for others to share their personal journeys in an approachable way, by shying away from compartmentalization. A combination of visual and audio elements causes faces and emotions to become associated with a theme.

Take Twee

Take Twee was established as a foundation in April 2016 by Eric Meyer and Rick Alberigs. They bumped into each other through an intermediary, and immediately had a substance-defined connection. Nevertheless, the design of Take Twee has been a long and gradual process. After first having cooperated on a pilot project, it became clear that this working relationship deserved continuity.

“Individual narratives of people collectively tell a story”

They try to get people out of a bubble by showing a variety of perspectives per topic. Especially in a multicultural city like Maastricht where many do not even know their neighbor. 

According to Eric, your bubble is still quite large in elementary school, but it thins out at every level you grow into adulthood. From the moment you enter tertiary education you primarily engage with the people of that program, faculty, or sector, a type of segmentation. Take Twee wants to separate people from prejudices by awaking curiosity about others on the basis of their natural disposition. Take Twee’s vision has been observed in retrospect, a beautiful conclusion to their work.

Video-portraiture

The current style of the portraits gradually developed. Initially, the portraits were created separately from the audio narratives. The idea was to let someone’s culture and background shine on canvas by capturing their essence in a confidential atmosphere, such as their homes, only this composition did not work. Eventually, they noticed that they needed a secluded area to work in and transformed a space in the industrial park into a studio. 

They also came to know the first portrait-taker, Kamanzi of Ugandan nationality, through an intermediary. After extensively fathoming how best to portray his life experiences, they arrived at an abstract and minimalist style by using man-sized portraits with a black backdrop. A unique offline one-on-one experience is created, nothing else can be seen but the person on the canvas.

“These portraits are very intimate, they carry a piece of a person’s soul, a story we try to translate as earnest as possible in the exhibits”

Through meet & greets, lively conversations arise between the audience and the person being portrayed. You cannot predict the reaction of the public, you never truly know what appeals to them. Eric and Rick have noticed that people often seek resemblance with the one depicted. Similarly, the person behind the canvas undergoes an emotional journey themselves; not only do the portraits come close to the attendees, but they themselves are also often deeply moved for simply being seen for once.

 

Transitional phases

The exhibits have featured current and self-evident themes of our time in relation to Nature, Religion, Migration, and Crisis, such as the pandemic for example. In this regard, it is important to note that Take Twee is not trying to make a statement but a reflection of a person who shares their story. The exhibit on migration was born out of curiosity, often a lot of things are said about the reasoning behind someone’s departure from their former home, and yet we rarely know the actual motives.

“Not a political signature, completely humanistic in the hope that people might look out for each other”

What happens to you when the stability in your life falls away. When everything is comfortable you learn relatively little, it is when you are taken out of your comfort zone that you discover the most about yourself and the world around you. People who relate to crisis, religion, and migration go through many pivotal ​events. The theme Crisis had started in a pandemic, which later evolved into a project that shows the implications one faces when balance is lost. Take Twee is currently working on a repackaged series that projects people who have a connection to nature, featuring a gardener, a beekeeper, and an 85-year-old hunter.

Faces behind the canvas

Take Twee does not have a specific target group, but they are fortunate to feature Identities in an approachable location, Centre Ceramique. A dream location that virtually functions as the living room of the city. Through word of mouth, they came into contact with most individuals. 

“We do not base our work on people with extreme stories, the world is not black and white, on the contrary, we are in a gray mass, in which you can find the beauty.”

It is against Take Twee’s concept of making one narrative leading, considering the exhibits are built from a multitude of perspectives. According to Rick, when you highlight one person you misdirect the conversation towards a singular narrative. Hence, they do not display posters with images for the exhibits. As Eric says, one face is not suitable to represent a whole project.

 

Curious about their commitment

Is Take Twee’s story tantalizing you to see Identities live? This exhibition is free to visit at Centre Ceramique until 10 October 2021. Or catch them at a meet & greet on September 11, when three new portraits from the Nature series will be exhibited.

Take a look at the website of Take Twee: Website

Author: Jo-Anne Jaegermann

Pictures: Jo-Anne Jaegermann