let your heart speak, bring your dearest memory to 'c'est maman'


The massive participation of the students in the ris-tual resulted in magic moments and an impressive final image. Every cloth with a print of the students’ laugh will be integrated in ‘c’est maman’ as a new ‘skin’. With the ‘DNA’ of the students ‘c’est maman’ continues her journey on the way to Maastricht European Capital […]


The response of the students to the invitation of ‘et je ris’ was heartwarming. Lots of students accepted the invitation with conviction and gave their laugh tot ‘c’est maman’. Many of them defied the queue to have the ‘et je ris’ tag painted on their face. De respons van de studenten op de uitnodiging van […]


The transmission of the laugh on the cloth is an important moment. Bringing up a dear memory for ‘home’, a connection with the sculpture ‘c’est maman’ and the outreach to the new hometown student city Maastricht come together in one single moment. De overdracht van de lach op het doek is een belangrijk moment. Het […]

The story behind

William Otermans, artist and spiritual father of ‘et je ris’, explains the background of the sculpture and the ris-tual. A consciously made contribution of the students, by transmitting a dear memory from ‘home’, via their hart, their laugh, a cloth to ‘c’est maman’, makes them the ‘parent’ of ’the new’ that grows out of ‘c’est […]

‘c’est maman’ is growing

‘c’est maman’ is a “growth sculpture”. A part of the spherical form is being built before Culture Valley at 23rd August, 2012. The contributions of the students, their materialized laugh from the heart in a cloth, form together the ‘skin’ of the sculpture and with that, the DNA for “what is to come”. ‘c’est maman’ […]


Summary in English:

As an outreach to the new students in the city, Tout Maastricht invites them on the road to Maastricht Cultural Capital of Europe 2018. Place to be is the Inkom 2012, Culture Valley. The artist William Otermans makes a “mother sculpture” in which “something new” comes into being as a result of the input from the students. The shape of the sculpture corresponds with a womb, the process of cell division. The role of the water is important for the link between the new and the old, for the connection of Maastricht with the rest of Europe and the world. The heart of the sculpture is a ball, a drop of water. The ball is the symbol for the new that grows in Maastricht resulting from the contributions of the students.
The new students will be asked whether they want to be the parent of this new ‘life’ by giving their ‘DNA’ by means of their laugh. The laugh emerges from a joyful memory of ‘home’ and is transmitted to the sculpture in a ritual, the ris-tual. The ‘skin’ of the sculpture is composed of the memories from the students.
The name of the sculpture is “C’est Maman”; it can grow during the years uptill 2018. What “the new” exactly is, will unfold itself in the course of time.
The source of this concept is the painting “ST. El-La-Ma-Ris, Umbilical with the Universe” from William Otermans.
The ris-tual is as follows: the students paint a laugh in a certain shape on their face with red facial paint. They take a moment of time to connect consciously with ‘home’, and by doing so, calling a precious memory to mind. The students ‘catch’ the laugh emerging from
this act, in a wet white cloth. The artist attaches this cloth with print to the sculpture. Participants are free to decide whether they want to proceed their visit to Culture Valley with facial paint on, or to wipe it off.

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juni 2024
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