BAK, basis voor actuele kunst is a base for art, theory, and social action. BAK is committed to the notion of art as a public sphere and a political space, and provides a critical platform for aesthetico-political experiments with and through art. BAK brings together artists, thinkers, and other members of the precarious classes to imagine and enact transformative ways of being together otherwise.
Who we are
BAK, basis voor actuele kunst is a leading international platform for theoretically-informed, politically-driven art and experimental research. Based in Utrecht, BAK addresses the social, ideological, and environmental urgencies of the present by combining public programming and exhibition-making with research, learning, and talent development. Working with communities involved in arts, activisms, and academia—and bringing artists, scholars, and other members of the precarious classes together—BAK cultivates art as a public sphere and a space for aesthetico-political experiments.
BAK’s current long-term program Propositions for Non-Fascist Living (2017–ongoing) is prompted by the dramatic resurfacing and normalization of historical and contemporary fascisms in our present, and advocates art as imagining and enacting ways of “being together otherwise.” Beside its public programs, BAK hosts a Fellowship Program and a new publishing series called Basics as part of a living archive of publishing projects.
Since its inception in 2000, BAK has systematically engaged in developing and testing institutional models to best accommodate and further shape the dynamically evolving fields of discursively and politically committed arts and their processes. This key element of BAK’s praxis, of instituting otherwise, has been one of synchronizing the thematics of public programming with the practice of the institution in terms of formatting events (beyond [mere] exhibitions), apportioning the institution’s resources (of knowledge, time, space, people, finances, etc.), and establishing its “social business plan.”
In September 2017, after seventeen years at Lange Nieuwstraat 4, BAK has moved to a new venue at Pauwstraat 13a, Utrecht. As we repurpose the building into a multi-functional site for the contemporary, BAK’s projects temporarily take place between the renovation stages; experiencing the gradual transformation of the former RASA Centre for World Cultures with the public. Developed with architecture studio Goldsmith, the venue is re-envisioned with ideas of openness, hospitality, flexibility, mobility, humbleness, and sustainability. The site will accommodate the hybrid, multi-layered institutional practices of BAK—including exhibitions, performances, screenings, conferences, workshops, and educational activities—and will offer a base for collective explorations of the art institution as a site of assembly, of being together otherwise.
BAK, basis voor actuele kunst
NL-3512 TG Utrecht
General & Artistic Director
Clara Balaguer Lobregat
Irene Calabuch Mirón
Coordinator Studies & Fellowship for Situated Practice
Hidde van Greuningen
Head of Public Practice
Building Management & Technique
Managing Editor Publications
Niels van Mil
Finances & Administration
Jo-Anneke van der Molen
Julia Morandeira Arrizabalaga
Curator Post-Academic Program
Alfredo Alejandro Navarrete Cortés
Curator of Public Practice
Office & Production
Building Management & Technique
Lisanne van Vucht
Fundraising & Rentals
Julia Alting, Anouk van Amsterdam, Liesa van Dyck, Elisabeth Kollen, Anita Nanasi, Anita Schuurman, Nina Spa, Anna van Stuivenberg
BAK, basis voor actuele kunst is a non-profit organization with a supervisory board. The membership of the Supervisory Board of BAK, basis voor actuele kunst is as follows:
Dirk Jan Blikkendaal
Annelies van der Horst
Both the management of BAK, basis voor actuele kunst and the Supervisory Board comply with the Cultural Governance Code.
Code of conduct and protocol
BAK, basis voor actuele kunst strives to be a space that is free from all forms of structural oppression, including racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia and ageism. BAK recognises that this policy requires an ongoing collective effort, and we ask for your help. During your visit to BAK you are agreeing to actively support this goal.
Read the whole code of conduct and protocol here.