Tentoonstelling

11 maart–21 mei 2017

To Seminar

  • Jeremiah Day, education is what enables every person to judge for themselves what secures or endangers their freedom, 2017, banner. Foto: Tom Janssen

  • Art Works on Commission, Free

  • Tiong Ang in samenwerking met Sebastián González de Gortari, Ola Hassanain, Jan Yongdeok Lim, Winston Nanlohy, Andrés Novo, Kristina Országhová, Alejandro Ramírez, Heekyung Ryu en Robert Wittendorp, Sleeper, 2017. Foto: Tom Janssen

  • Camila Sposati en Falke Pisano, Lundu (Rugendas), 2017

  • Sara Sejin Chang (Sara van der Heide), schets voor The Mother Mountain Institute, 2017

  • Tiong Ang in samenwerking met Sebastián González de Gortari, Ola Hassanain, Jan Yongdeok Lim, Winston Nanlohy, Andrés Novo, Kristina Országhová, Alejandro Ramírez, Heekyung Ryu en Robert Wittendorp, Sleeper, 2017. Foto: Tom Janssen

  • Irit Rogoff bij het 3de Former West onderzoekscongres in Wenen, 2012

  • Sarah Pierce, Campus, 2017, foto: Tom Janssen

To Seminar – een tentoonstelling die zich in een reeks performatieve en discursieve openbare bijeenkomsten door de tijd heen ontwikkelt – bevraagt de hedendaagse praktijk van leren over, met en door middel van kunst. Het stelt de vraag hoe we voorbij kunnen gaan aan de uitwerkingen van de zogenaamde educational turn in de hedendaagse kunst en collectief kunnen toewerken naar een vorm van leren die daadwerkelijk in relatie staat tot de sociale praktijk.

Het project kan begrepen worden als een hernieuwd lezen van Roland Barthes’ essay “Au Séminaire” (1974). Het neemt diens notie van het seminar als uitgangspunt – als concept en als intieme en complexe praktijk – waarmee dit begrip een sleutelpositie verkrijgt in het leren van de huidige tijd. Zo vormt To Seminar het zelfstandig naamwoord om tot een werkwoord in een poging om het “onvoorspelbare ritme” ervan te activeren en daarmee een instrument aan te reiken dat de hedendaagse, gevestigde educatievormen kan doorbreken, zowel in de kunst als daarbuiten. De ooit veelgeprezen educational turn heeft inmiddels namelijk dikwijls geleid tot ofwel een routinematig inwerken in de kenniseconomie of een uitgeholde betekenis van de begrippen “kennisproductie”, “gemeenschap” en “methode”. Als we inderdaad, net als Barthes, leven in een tijd die wordt gekenmerkt door een “zekere apocalyps in cultuur”, is de werkelijke taak van het onderwijs niet om de morbide symptomen van deze huidige tijd te normaliseren, zoals gebruikelijk is geworden, maar juist om gezamenlijk alternatieve realiteiten te overdenken en in de praktijk te brengen. Met kunstenaars, theoretici en andere cultuurbeoefenaars verbindt To Seminar de drie conceptuele ruimtes die elkaar kruisen wanneer seminaring plaatsvindt – instituut/overdracht/tekst – en wordt er geprobeerd deze op een evenwichtige wijze te verenigen zodat de omstandigheden van de hedendaagse tijd opnieuw gedacht en gevormd kunnen worden.

Tijdens de tentoonstelling-als-seminar vindt een reeks publieke bijeenkomsten zoals performances, lezingen en filmvertoningen plaats.

To Seminar is ontwikkeld door Henk Slager. De seminars komen tot stand met bijdragen van verscheidende MA-programma’s in de beeldende kunsten in Nederland en daarbuiten. Een publicatie, uitgebracht door Metropolis M Books, zal verschijnen in de zomer van 2017. To Seminar is mede mogelijk gemaakt door de samenwerking tussen BAK en MaHKU (Hogeschool voor de Kunsten, Utrecht).

Programma

performance
10.03.2017, 16.30 uur
Sleeper

paneldiscussie
21.03.2017, 19.00 uur
Institution

performance
23.03.2017, 19.00 uur
Co-Action Device. I rather laugh

paneldiscussie
30.03.2017, 19.00 uur
Text

paneldiscussie
06.04.2017, 19.00 uur
Transference

tentoonstelling
13.04.2017, 17.00 uur
Art Works on Commission, Free

lezing-performance
18.04.2017, 19.00 uur
Education is what enables every person to judge for themselves what secures or endangers their freedom

lezing
20.04.2017, 19.00 uur
Reflection on Knowability

performance
18.05.2017, 15.00 uur
Campus

Werken

A series of intensive discussions between curator Henk Slager and artists Tiong Ang, Falke Pisano, Camila Sposati, and Sara Sejin Chang (Sara van der Heide) form the foundations of the To Seminar project. The collaborators have developed a contemporary interpretation of Roland Barthes’ concept of the seminar, a concept that requires a dynamic rethinking of the triangular relationship between institution, transference, and text in education. To Seminar proposes an activation—seminar as a verb.

For the project, each artist has departed from one of the relational spaces—institution (Sara Sejin Chang), transference (Tiong Ang), and text (Falke Pisano and Camila Sposati)—in order to develop a new work. Collectively, the artists have created a multi-purpose stage on the ground floor of BAK (a stage as well as a space for workshops, discussions, display, and performances), with a spatial and lighting design by Tiong Ang in collaboration with Andrés Novo.

In this context, Job Koelewijn, René Francisco, and İnci Eviner develop intensive workshops, the outcomes of which are gradually integrated into the exhibition. Furthermore, artists Mick Wilson, Jeremiah Day, and Sarah Pierce propose additional perspectives on text, transference, and institution, respectively.

Art Works on Commission, Free
door René Francisco

René Francisco, Art Works on Commission, Free, 2017, video, 60 min, foto: Tom Janssen

René Francisco’s works are part of his project Pedagogía Pragmática (2010–ongoing). The didactic method of this project, shown in the videos, takes place outside the art academy in unexpected locations in Havana’s urban landscape, such as a deserted home or a posh swimming pool. The workshop in Utrecht from 4–13 April 2017 deals with similar artistic group processes, the awareness of a community of action, and reinterpretations of the relations between doing, seeing, and saying. The borders between author, artist, spectator, and also those between professor and student have been diluted, as similitudes have had to be acknowledged and novel forms of research have come into being.

A new edition of Pedagogía Pragmática, called Art Works on Commission, Free, is realized in Utrecht from 4–13 April 2017 with a final presentation on 13 April. From 19 April, documentation of this project becomes part of the exhibition.

Campus
door Sarah Pierce

Sarah Pierce, Campus, 2017, gordijnen, documentatie, performance, foto: Tom Janssen

Campus emerges from Sarah Pierce’s ongoing interest in the college campus as a space of community predicated on shifting levels of presence and participation. The performance, taking place at BAK on 18 May 2017, develops from a workshop conducted with a group of students from the Dutch Art Institute, Arnhem in the presence of an audience. As the group learns the performance, the techniques of teaching, learning, and observing merge with other acts that involve “seeing” and “doing.” The curtains are part of the exhibition as of 25 April.

Co-Action Device. I rather laugh
door İnci Eviner

İnci Eviner, in samenwerking met Sırma Öztaş, Adnan Devran, Iris Ergül, Buse Aktaş, Şafak Çatalbaş, Ecem Sarıçayır en studenten van MaHKU Fine Art en het MA-programma in scenography bij HKU, Hogeschool voor de kunsten Utrecht, Utrecht, Co-Action Device. I rather laugh, 2017, video, 1 hr. 14 min., foto: Tom Janssen

İnci Eviner’s project Co-Action Device involves a methodology developed during a group process: a performative way of working together while translating a clearly defined, institutional space into an experimental working stage, ignoring didactic and declarative parameters. Thus a collaborative practice emerges, hovering in the interstitial space of artistic research and artistic production, causing it to extract from the hierarchic and descriptive restrictions of a coercive, curricular structure.

From 14–23 March 2017, a new version of Co-Action Device takes place at BAK, with a final presentation on 23 March. From 28 March, documentation of this new project becomes part of the exhibition.

Dónal Óg
door Mick Wilson

Mick Wilson, Dónal Óg, 2017, boekjes, foto: Tom Janssen

Dónal Óg comprises a small booklet and an audio recording of a traditional Irish/Scottish song of disputed antiquity and complex genealogy. The song is performed in four versions, which are played intermittently in short bursts. These versions of the song are novel and do not conform to established practices. They draw upon existing variants in performance from Irish, Scottish, and English performers. The booklet provides variant lyrics of the song, and some variant source details as well. It obliquely connects the song to the question of orality within the contexts of colonial modernity.

This work is part of a series entitled Rhetor that is an ongoing inquiry into rhetorical modes and forms of address. The specific focus for this work is the hailing effects of the song, which consist of a series of direct and indirect calls and addresses: “o Dónal go…”; “whistled and called you . . . twelve times repeating”; “my mother will ask you to name your people.”

Education is what enables every person to judge for themselves what secures or endangers their freedom
door Jeremiah Day

Jeremiah Day, education is what enables every person to judge for themselves what secures or endangers their freedom, 2017, banner en performance, foto: Tom Janssen

From a letter by Thomas Jefferson written in 1810: “I have indeed two great measures at heart, without which no republic can maintain its strength. 1. That of general education, to enable every man to judge for himself what will secure or endanger his freedom. 2. To divide every county into hundreds, of such size that all the children of each will be in reach of a central school in it.” In his work as a researcher and artist, Jeremiah Day gives a contemporary imagining of Jefferson’s program for the preservation of local, participatory democracy through the works of Fred Dewey, H. R. Shapiro, and Hannah Arendt.

Exercising Verticality
door Job Koelewijn

Job Koelewijn, in samenwerking met Susan Jenkins, Haoran Kang, Konstantinos Milonas, Elena Pietrini Sánchez, Tereza Teluchova, Chao Wang en Li Zhengqing, Exercising Verticality, 2017, boeken, audio

Seven students of the MaHKU (Utrecht Graduate School of Visual Art and Design, Utrecht) Fine Art program—Susan Jenkins, Haoran Kang, Konstantinos Milonas, Elena Pietrini Sánchez, Tereza Teluchova, Chao Wang, and Li Zhengqing—were each challenged to propose a book of their choice and to translate it into an audio book, the read texts serving as point of departure for the audio sketchbooks. The experience of using one’s own voice has been a significant part of the process, bringing to practice the French poet Charles Baudelaire’s (1821–1876) maxim, “If you want to understand a word, repeat it a thousand times and the word will open itself like a flower.”

LUNDU
door Falke Pisano en Camila Sposati

Falke Pisano en Camila Sposati, Coimplication (thinking with the other is the only way that we can see anything), 2017, hout, digitale print op stof, foto: Tom Janssen

The conversational research project LUNDU takes the Brazilian dance and music of lundu to think through questions of the body, space and context, colonialism, and the ways we relate to and deal with the complexities of historical and contemporary relations. The works presented in the exhibition depart from two illustrations of lundu from 1835, and have been developed through conversations with dancers, musicians, and theorists. Reflecting on how the relation between subject and object determines our thought, the works propose to think and unfix these positions through the lens of coimplication.

Sleeper
door Tiong Ang

Tiong Ang, in samenwerking met Sebastián González de Gortari, Ola Hassanain, Jan Yongdeok Lim, Winston Nanlohy, Andrés Novo, Kristina Országhová, Alejandro Ramírez, Heekyung Ryu en Robert Wittendorp, Sleeper, 2017, installatie, verscheidene objecten, video, 36 min., ruimtelijk ontwerp, opening performance, foto: Tom Janssen

Sleeper is composed of the interconnected elements of a spatial design (the stage, the horizon), a video installation with objects, a new collection of lyrics written by artists, and a group performance. The object on the stage, consisting of six pillars, alludes to the idea of diversity within human relations and emotions. The work is accompanied by a video showing song titles and still images of music groups and protests, placed over an abstracted, spinning theater, with the image of an Asian woman displaying intangible objects forming a silent counterbalance. The performance took place during the opening of To Seminar on 10 March 2017 at BAK and featured a group of artists performing songs written by other artists about artistic agency and the time of conflict in which we live.

The Mother Mountain Institute
door Sara Sejin Chang (Sara van der Heide)

Sara Sejin Chang (Sara van der Heide), The Mother Mountain Institute, 2017–doorlopend, installatie, tekeningen, audio, foto: Tom Janssen

The Mother Mountain Institute inquires how, in the constellation of international and interracial adoption—with its various stakeholders, like the adoption agency, the government, the adoptee, and the adopting parents—the life of the birth mother is often forgotten or overlooked. This project aims to bring together different stories from such mothers, looking at how these mothers, often pressured by the state, the church, criminal traffickers in an underlying patriarchal society, may see little or no prospects for the children and themselves to have positive futures.

The mountain in this project is evoked as a spiritual entity who might provide answers to impossible questions that transcend rational thought. The drawings have been made over the years during walks on several mountains known for their spiritual qualities in Poland, India, and South Korea.

The script for the mother is based on an interview that took place in February 2017 in South Korea. Voice of mother: Alexandra Coutts; voice of mountain: Agnieszka Polska; text for mountain by: Sara Sejin Chang (Sara van der Heide), Agnieszka Polska, head monk of the Seon Monastery of Mihwangsa, South Korea, the woman who can see the future and the past, South Korea.

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