The nude portraits that are displayed in the Impulse and the Restaurant of the Future since the 15th of October, are causing commotion. That was the point, says programme manager Nicolien Pieterse of Impulse.
Photo: Onnika van Oosterbosch
The paintings have only been hanging for a short while, but a few employees of Wageningen UR have already shared their reactions to the nudeness on the walls. Most people that reacted are not pleased with the choice, says Pieterse, who is responsible for the exposition. ‘People commented that these paintings are not appropriate in a business environment and that they will not bring their international guests to Impulse and the Restaurant of the Future in the near future. We are going to have an internal meeting about this.’
Pieterse understands the critical reactions, but does not agree. ‘Impulse is a place to stimulate discussions between people. That is exactly what these paintings are achieving, with this collection I am seeking the limits. The artist explores the human body, researchers also do this, and she puts beauty and deterioration up for discussion. It is confronting, you cannot avoid it, but that is fine, because Impulse aims to provoke people to look and have a discussion about it. We want to start discussions and we succeeded.’
A couple of employees of Wageningen UR have indicated to Pieterse that they are not pleased with the choice, but most people that reacted think that guests with a different faith or cultural background might be offended. On Tuesday Pieterse talked to a few of the employees that are not happy with the nude portraits in the restaurant. She does not want to remove the paintings. The exposition will take six weeks.