until 11 October 2020
HKU MA Fine Art Graduation Show

If Not Now

From 30 September–11 October 2020, BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht hosts If Not Now, the graduation exhibition of the 2018−2020 MA Fine Art class of HKU University of the Arts Utrecht, which is curated by Katia Krupennikova.

If Not Now features works by: Isshaq Al-Barbary, Charli Herrington, Carina Jansen, Bennet Edwin Kruit, Sinwah Lai, Sol Enae Lee, Winston Nanlohy, Gerardo Gomez Tonda, Gizem Üstüner, M.C. Julie Yu and Jinxiao Zhou.
Need for structural revisions of the paradigms
The Covid-19 lockdown caught the graduates in the final semester of their studies, and forcefully relocated everyone from classrooms, workshops, and studios to their homes. Characterized by a radical disruption of life caused by the pandemic, the exhibition If Not Now addresses the urgent need for structural revisions of the paradigms—geographical, political, institutional, social, linguistic, humanistic—that form the foundations of the contemporary world.
How to act in the now
An abrupt confrontation with increasing precarity, growing uncertainty, and technologically mediated education has sharpened a sense of urgency to rearticulate the role of art in the face of such crises—in particular art’s promise of the future. Refusing to partake in the modern utopia and illusion of “outsourcing” solutions for current problems into an unknown future, the artists in this exhibition pave the way for inquiring how to act in the now. If Not Now starts from the multitude of challenges that confront the present and that affect the very possibility of survival—as artists, as students, as humans: from inflexible institutional and legal infrastructures that underpin contemporary education, to housing struggles, to financial and job insecurity, to the seemingly immovable power of the academy, and to inapt curricula that struggle to find connection to what is happening in the world.
Making an impact
Coming from a strong awareness of their positions—simultaneously precarious and privileged, and humbled by the current situation, the artists in this show are determined to make an impact, to insist on a redefinition of norms. Without delay, they struggle to actualize the world they want to live in, not putting up with rules and relations that are imposed on them by institutions and the logic of capital. The works in this exhibition call for urgent structural, social transformation. If not now, then when?
Radio program
As part of If Not Now, students and graduates of the HKU MA Fine Art program organize a live radio program, hosted by Stranded FM, that includes audio tours of the exhibition, as well as conversations with, and contributions by the artists and guests. Tune in and listen to personal stories and experiences of struggle, artistic production processes, dreams and nightmares, and to catch a glimpse of experiences and sound bites from the semester-long program Sonic Archival Practices (part of HKU MA Fine Art, year 1).


Tammie Kang, time to times, 2019, instal
Tammie Kang, time to times, 2019, installation HKU MA Fine Art graduation exhibition Futures Without... at BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, 2019, photo: Franz Müller-Schmidt