Congress

19-20 April 2012

3rd FORMER WEST Research Congress: Beyond What Was Contemporary Art

If we imagine Contemporary Art to be a historical period that emerged from 1989 in parallel to other hegemonic formations such as global neoliberalism, could it be argued that, in sync with the current seismic shifts in society, politics, and economy, it has now reached a dead end? Is Contemporary Art—art in and of the epoch of neoliberalism—on its way out, together with the system that made it possible? What kind of challenges and possibilities might then lie before us in the space of art in times when “business as usual” is no longer an option? Can we speculate collectively on how to move beyond the present confines of Contemporary Art’s normalized and normalizing practices, and articulate what can appear from Contemporary Art’s “formerness?”

Part One of the 3rd FORMER WEST Congress puts forward a number of propositions to engage with these questions during a two-day gathering of artistic and cultural practitioners on 19–20 April 2012 in Vienna. Shaped by these discussions, Part Two unfolds in Utrecht in September 2012. The 3rd FORMER WEST Research Congress, Part One: Beyond What Was Contemporary Art is developed by BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht and co-curated by Marion von Osten, FORMER WEST research advisor and Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Vienna.

At the 3rd FORMER WEST Research Congress, Part One the following group of remarkable artists, curators, and scholars gather in Vienna to speculate about possibilities for art vis-à-vis the increasing forces of antagonism across the world and the emerging imaginaries that accompany them: aaa / Atelier d’architecture autogérée (urban research collective platform, Paris); Nancy Adajania (cultural theorist and curator, Mumbai); CAMP (collaborative project and platform, Mumbai); Ekaterina Degot (art historian and curator, Moscow); Jesko Fezer (artist and architect, Berlin); h.arta (artist collective, Timisoara); Christian Höller (writer, Vienna); Irit Rogoff (theorist and curator, London); and Ruth Sonderegger (philosopher, Vienna).

Venue: The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and Secession, Friedrichstraße 12, Vienna

The 3rd FORMER WEST Congress, Part One: Beyond What Was Contemporary Art, is realized in collaboration with the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and Secession, Vienna and is generously supported by the Mondriaan Fund, Amsterdam; ERSTE Foundation, Vienna; and the Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands in Vienna.

For more information regarding the FORMER WEST project, see here.

In collaboration with

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Suggestions from the archive

Discursive

24 January 2019

Propositions #7/6: Archive

Sixth gathering of Propositions #7: Evidentiary Methods—the public program in the context of the exhibition Forensic Justice and part of the BAK series Propositions for Non-Fascist Living (2017–2020). Focusing on the evidentiary method of archiving, Ariel Caine presents Ground Truth, 2017–ongoing, a project that provides historical and juridical evidence on behalf of communities in the illegalized Palestinian Bedouin villages in the northern threshold of the Negev/Naqab desert. Jessica de Abreu presents The Black Archives’ work documenting the history of black emancipation movements and individuals in the Netherlands. Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh discusses her research and interventions which address the political implications of a collection of digital photography originating from Burj al-Shamali, a Palestinian refugee camp in Southern Lebanon.

Discursive

10 January 2019

Propositions #7/5: Sense

Fifth gathering of Propositions #7: Evidentiary Methods—the public program in the context of the exhibition Forensic Justice and part of the BAK series Propositions for Non-Fascist Living (2017–2020). Focusing on the evidentiary method of remote sensing, Samaneh Moafi presents Ecocide in Indonesia, 2016, an investigation into the 2015 fires in Kalimantan and Sumatra that consumed over 21,000 square kilometers of forest and peat lands. A staff member of Prakken d’Oliveira presents Friends of the Earth Netherlands vs. Royal Dutch Shell, 2008–ongoing, a legal case in which four Nigerian citizens are taking Shell to court over oil spills that had polluted their fields and their fish farming ponds.

Discursive

15 November 2018, 19.30-21.30

Propositions #7/3: Testify

Third gathering of Propositions #7: Evidentiary Methods—the public program in the context of the exhibition Forensic Justice and part of the BAK series Propositions for Non-Fascist Living (2017–2020). Focusing on the evidentiary method of the testimony, Ana Naomi de Sousa presents Saydnaya, 2016, the reconstruction of a Syrian torture prison of which there are no images. Papa Sakho and Jo van der Spek bring into the discussion the Migrant 2 Migrant Foundation’s ongoing response to the Schipholbrand, the 2005 fire in which eleven migrants died while being trapped in an airport detention complex.

Discursive

1 November 2018, 19.30-21.30

Propositions #7/2: Geosync

Second gathering of Propositions #7: Evidentiary Methods—the public program in the context of the exhibition Forensic Justice and part of the BAK series Propositions for Non-Fascist Living (2017–2020). Focusing on the evidentiary method of what Forensic Architecture calls “Geosync,” Stefan Laxness presents The Ayotzinapa Case, 2017, an investigation into the disappearance of 43 students in Iguala, Mexico, in 2014. Gamze Hızlı and Özlem Zingil of Hafiza Merkezi discuss their recent investigations into human rights violations in Turkey.

Discursive

Discursive

Education Program

03 December 2018–21 January 2019

Course Art and Politics

“Art and Politics” is an inaugural course of a new public school for art and politics organized by BAK, basis voor actuele kunst in Utrecht. In six weekly sessions, the participants learn about how contemporary art relates to the political in an accessible way. The course is taught by Maria Hlavajova, BAK’s general and artistic director.

Exhibition

8-11 November 2018

BAK x Le Guess Who? – Forensic Justice

During the music festival Le Guess Who?, from 8–11 November 2018, festival visitors have free entrance to the exhibition Forensic Justice, with works by Forensic Architecture. This collaboration is part of a new satellite event during Le Guess Who? 2018: ‘Untitled’. The program focuses on all disciplines other than music and is an exploration of other artistic expressions by festival artists, as well as a collection of exhibitions, film screenings and talks that can be visited in Utrecht during the festival weekend.

Exhibition

Discursive

18 October 2018–24 January 2019

Propositions #7: Evidentiary Methods

Propositions #7: Evidentiary Methods—the public program in the context of the exhibition Forensic Justice and part of the BAK series Propositions for Non-Fascist Living (2017–2020)—expands upon the notion of forensic justice in a series of lectures, screenings, and workshops on methodologies for articulating claims within the multidimensional space of aesthetics, law, architecture, politics, and ecology.

Exhibition

18 October 2018–27 January 2019

Forensic Justice

Forensic Justice is an exhibition and a series of public programs with Forensic Architecture, a London-based independent and interdisciplinary research agency comprised of, among others, artists, scientists, lawyers, filmmakers, and architects.

Lecture

Lecture

Lecture

Lecture

Lecture

Exhibition

Lecture