BAK Summer School 2018

16-20 July 2018


BAK Summer School: Art and Practice in the Otherwise

Learning Place, FORMER WEST: Documents, Constellation, Prospects, Berlin, 18–24 March 2013, photo: Ernie Buts

Applications are now being accepted for the BAK Summer School: Art and Practice in the Otherwise, a collaborative and intensive learning week at BAK, basis voor actuele kunst from 16–20 July 2018 in Utrecht, Netherlands.

Application deadline: 1 June, 2018


The BAK Summer School: Art and Practice in the Otherwise is an advanced, interdisciplinary course that brings together those involved in arts, academia, and activisms to collectively think through, learn about, and imagine critical, politically-informed artistic practices that grasp and influence our dramatically changing times.

Social, environmental, geopolitical, economic, and technological structures are rapidly rearranging. Ideas, practices, and meanings of resistance, coming together, identity, activist and artistic practice, and collectivity and closeness—as well as the notions of artistic production, the (art) institution, and the public—are transforming. This course begins from the understanding that art has the radical potential to enable the otherwise, meaning practices, spaces, imaginaries, centerings, and politico-aesthetic experiments at odds with the socio-political orders of worth and power that globalized imperialisms and rising fascisms have so violently gotten recognized as the status quo.

Through case studies, storytelling, theory, presentations, discussions, workshops, study groups, and exercises, the BAK Summer School: Art and Practice in the Otherwise asks about and speaks to art as a space in which radical (re)workings can flourish. Concepts of alternative and collective practice, contemporary constructions of “we,” institutional structuring, potentials of performative collectivity, looming and present fascisms, etc. are discussed so as to imagine what shapes art as otherwise may take, what is needed for such endeavors, and how to think about the contemporary with and through art in order to build these visions and practices.

The BAK Summer School: Art and Practice in the Otherwise turns to art practice, theory, and institutions that work at these ontological and material arrangements. We also draw upon BAK research, including our current four-year trajectory Propositions for Non-Fascist Living (2017–2020); our connected Fellowship Program, which hosts 10 exemplary interdisciplinary fellows each year; FORMER WEST (2008–2016), which developed a critical understanding of the legacies of 1989’s radical resistance to power in order to reevaluate the global present and speculate about global futures; and Future Vocabularies (2013–2016), which attempted to act out concrete propositions that explore shifts in the existing conceptual vocabularies within artistic, intellectual, and activist practices.

The BAK Summer School: Art and Practice in the Otherwise takes place from 16 through 20 July 2018 at BAK in Utrecht, Netherlands. Applications can be submitted via the Utrecht Summer School website by 1 June 2018. The fee for the course and materials, to be paid upon acceptance, is 450 EUR. Accommodation by the Utrecht Summer School is an additional 200 EUR, for which you can sign up during your application process. Fees exclude meals and travel. Limited fee reductions may be possible; please inquire about this possibility before 10 April 2018. Please direct any questions to Whitney Stark at [email protected].

This BAK Summer School: Art and Practice in the Otherwise is organized by Maria Hlavajova, Artistic Director and Whitney Stark, Curator of Discourse and Publications at BAK. Contributors include 2017/2018 BAK Fellow, researcher and writer Isshaq Al-Barbary; 2017/2018 BAK Fellow and artist Matthijs de Bruijne and artist and researcher Cecilia Vallejos; curator and writer Chandra Frank; cultural historian and worker Nancy Jouwe; curator Matteo Lucchetti; and others.

This is a discourse-driven course organized by BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht in collaboration with HKU University of the Arts Utrecht and Utrecht Summer School.

In collaboration with

Suggestions from the archive

public editorial meeting

16-17 May 2014

Other Survivalisms

Under the title Other Survivalisms, on 16 and 17 May 2014 BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht hosts the second installment of its public editorial meetings geared towards the realization of the forthcoming FORMER WEST publication

BAK Summer School 2017

17-21 July 2017

BAK Summer School: Art in a Time of Interregnum

The BAK Summer School: Art in a Time of Interregnum brings together artists, curators, art theorists, and academics to collectively think through, learn about, and imagine critical, politically-informed artistic practices that work to grasp and influence our dramatically changing times.

Performative conference

17 March 2018

Unpacking Aesthetics and the Far Right

Propositions #4

This is the fourth performative conference within the series Propositions for Non-Fascist Living (2017–2020). With contributions by Larne Abse Gogarty, Kader Attia, Angela Dimitrakaki and iLiana Fokianaki, Morgan Quaintance, Ana Teixeira Pinto, Harry Weeks, and Giovanna Zapperi.

Educational platform

Educational platform

Educational platform

Educational platform

Educational platform

Talks and conversations

10 February 2018

Art as Commitment

Propositions #3

Propositions #3: Art as Commitment is the third convening platform in BAK’s long-term research series Propositions for Non-Fascist Living (2017–2020), prompted by the dramatic resurfacing and normalization of historical and contemporary fascisms in our present.

13 February–28 December 2014


The project Future Vocabularies is initiated in 2014 with an opening vocabulary entry on survival. It is envisioned as a foundational sequence, evolving over the course of the full year and made up of multiple conceptual narratives from which to draw the subsequent themes and methods for both thinking and acting.

05 February–29 November 2015


Realized in collaboration with BAK Research Fellow Rosi Braidotti and the BAK team, this semestral program outlines potential artistic, intellectual, and activist itineraries of working through the contemporary realities, and attempts to create an understanding of the altered meanings of art vis-à-vis such critical present-day developments.

23 September 2014–01 May 2016

Future Collections

A long-term collaboration between BAK and Centraal Museum exploring various collaborative possibilities to rethink the mission of the art institution in today’s rapidly changing global condition.

08 September 2015–24 June 2017

Instituting Otherwise

In 2016–2017, BAK dedicates a series of discursive, educational, and exhibitionary projects to the notion of the institution and how to, amidst contemporary challenges, “institute otherwise.”

Performative conference

25 November 2017


Propositions #2

Propositions #2: Assemblism is a day-long gathering that addresses the current rise of the new authoritarian world order, and the millions of bodies that have gathered in resistance in liberated autonomous zones, occupied buildings, city squares, prisons, and cultural spaces to collectively enact a different demand for egalitarian society.

Performative conference





4-5 November 2017

Faust 3

Have we entered into a pact with the devil?

On Saturday 4 November and Sunday 5 November, Frascati hosts performances of the play Faust 3, written by Bread and Puppet Theater founder Peter Schumann, and produced and performed by Bread and Puppet Theater and local artists with migrant backgrounds. The event is a Frascati Session at Frascati and part of BAK’s long-term research project Propositions for Non-Fascist Living.


Education Program, Exhibition


Education Program

17-24 February 2017

The Southern Summer School

The Southern Summer School is a collective project that brings together art practitioners and cultural workers based in South Africa, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. It begins from the acknowledgment that the colonial involvement of the Dutch and the British empire in South Africa is not only a historical fact that may be consigned to the past, but that coloniality continues to operate in the present.

Education Program

Discursive, Conversation

Lecture-Performance, Performative

7 October 2017, 20.00-20.30

Whatever Floats Our Boats, 2017

Whatever Floats Our Boats sketches a decolonial positioning of Curaçao on the world stage in the twentieth century. Artist and BAK 2017–2018 Fellow Quinsy Gario presents three instances of resistance to colonial and dictatorial practices on and via the Dutch Caribbean island that had international consequences.

Discursive, Performative

7 October 2017, 21.45-22.15

Conversational Tones, 2017

Without any wish to undo difference, contradiction, or distance, artist Charl Landvreugd and artist and BAK 2017–2018 Fellow Wendelien van Oldenborgh generate a discourse through a playful “battle” made of musical and visual interactions, with a wide variety of questions, fragments, and choices from their respective and specific idioms: filmmaking, visual arts, theory.

Discursive, Performative

7 October 2017, 22.15-22.45

Germination, 2017

In the performance Germination, Otobong Nkanga evokes the previous phases of Carved to Flow and meditates on the networked geographies, traditions, histories, and people engaged in the production of soap, proposing it as a model of social, economic, and conceptual circulation.


7 October 2017, 22.45-23.30

Protest Forms: Memory and Celebration (Sonic Version), 2016–ongoing

Marinella Senatore brings together an impromptu assembly of Utrecht-based musicians to test questions concerning protest as part of her project Protest Forms (2016–ongoing). It is a modest way of continuing the legacy of the center of world cultures RASA, which formerly inhabited the venue at Pauwstraat 13a in Utrecht, and of connecting it to the site’s current endeavor as a platform for the contemporary.



Panel Discussion




7 October 2017

What If Women Ruled The World, 2016

In the film Dr. Strangelove (1964), Stanley Kubrick foresaw a post-apocalyptic future in which dominant male leaders would repopulate the Earth, with ten women allocated to every man. The neon sign by artist Yael Bartana presents the opposite scenario; imagining a condition in which women are in charge of a world in desperate need of a new vision.