Mutual Support Platform
The Mutual Support Platform (MSP) is a space for conversations and actions by/between/for students, alumni, and teachers of the MAFA HKU, Utrecht. It emerged as a collective effort in response to the crisis of COVID-19, which we experienced with differing levels of privilege. The platform continues to exist as an internal (and at times external) online resource, as an expanded network, and as a hub for the following conversations: Instead of surrendering to systemic attempts of the academy to discipline, MSP challenges the so-called neutrality of prevalent discourses in (art) education, and addresses support by the art institution that is missing on different levels. MSP is dedicated to working on how to deal with conditions collectively, to intervene, to document these processes and trajectories, to imagine and act, to unlearn, and to support one another. For the BAK Fellowship MSP is represented by artists Gerardo Gomez Tonda, Charli Herrington, and Annette Krauss. MSP is based in Utrecht.
Gerardo Gomez Tonda, Member
Artist Gerardo Gomez Tonda holds a BA in Visual Arts from ENPEG La Esmeralda, Mexico City (2009) and an MAFA from HKU University of the Arts Utrecht, Utrecht (2020). Gomez Tonda is interested in the post-anthropocentric politics of relation, composting his family archive to unlock its nutrients and identify/filter toxicities, while facilitating participation through a relational process in which the self can become-with the audience. He is inspired by the power of stories, images, and sound, especially the relationships, entanglements, kinships, and nostalgia they embody, and the pathways they open up to imagine other ways of being (together). While exploring notions of accountability and difference, the Gomez Tonda utilizes his own position of displacement to understand complex and situated narratives of belonging, and to form propositions for more caring ways of living and dying together. His work takes the form of performances, videos, workshops, drawings, and installations. Gomez Tonda lives and works in The Hague.
Charli Herrington, Member
In her practice, artist Charli Herrington explores care as a methodology for creating moments and spaces that ask how people can live and work together otherwise within a climate powered by productivity, money, oppression, and hierarchy. By proposing new imaginaries of how to care together, she aims to reconfigure the values connected to collectivity, accessibility, and reproductive labor—social conditions that are often taken for granted. Because of her experience in the fields of care labor and activism, including in the non-profit sector at the Center for Cuban Studies in New York, her social and political practice is informed by a sense of urgency. Most recently and importantly, her direct care and administrative work at Outside the Lines (2016-present), an art studio for individuals with developmental and physical disabilities in Medford, MA, has had great influence on her research. Herrington lives and works in Rotterdam.
Annette Krauss, Member
Annette Krauss works as artist, educator and writer. In her conceptual-based practices, she addresses the intersection of art, politics, and everyday life. Her artistic work emerges through the intersection of different media, such as performance, video, historical and everyday research, pedagogy, and texts. Krauss has (co-)initiated various long-term collaborative practices, such as Read-in (2010–ongoing), Sites for Unlearning (2014–ongoing), School of Temporalities (2013–ongoing), Hidden Curriculum (2007–2017), ASK! (2011–2014), and Read the Masks. Tradition is Not Given (2008–2011). These projects reflect and build upon the potential of collaborative practices while aiming at disrupting taken for granted “truths” in imagining and living forms of collectivity. Since 2018, she is Course Leader of HKU MA Fine Art, Utrecht and holds a post-doc position in Art Academy, Vienna. Krauss lives and works in Utrecht and Vienna.