BAK Summer School 2017

17-21 July 2017

BAK Summer School: Art in a Time of Interregnum

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

The BAK Summer School: Art in a Time of Interregnum is a collaborative and intensive learning week at BAK, basis voor actuele kunst from 17–21 July 2017, organized in partnership with Utrecht Graduate School of Visual Art and Design (MaHKU) and Utrecht Summer School.

An advanced, interdisciplinary course designed for artists, curators, art theorists, academics, MA/MFA level or higher students, and professionals in the fields of art and social change, this summer school begins from the understanding that ours is a time of interregnum—a time of crisis and ongoing transition. Much in the sense of political thinker Antonio Gramsci’s understanding of crisis, these times are rife with a “great variety of morbid symptoms” as ruling structures prove, in their grasping at “coercive force,” to no longer be sustainable; “the old is dying and the new cannot be born.” As social, geopolitical, economic, and technological structures rapidly change, along with the unraveling legacies of western modernity, and with ongoing recompositions of class, global migration, and the endurability of the planet, so transform 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. How, then, does art relate to a contemporary as such? How to think art under such circumstances, and how to think about the contemporary with and through art in order to build space for envisioning ways of being together otherwise?

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. Concepts of the precariat, the challenges of contemporary fascisms, contemporary constructions of “we,” the posthuman, the Anthropocene, etc. are discussed with a thematic inquiry into forms of artistic expression relevant to contemporary destabilizations.

In order to address these questions, the summer school draws upon BAK research conducted within two interrelated projects, FORMER WEST (2008–2016) and Future Vocabularies (2013–2016). The former develops 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. The latter attempts to act out concrete propositions that explore shifts in the existing conceptual vocabularies within artistic, intellectual, and activist practices. Artists, curators, activists, and theorists will convene workshops, presentations, study groups, screenings, and lectures.

The summer school takes place from 17–21 July 2017 at BAK in Utrecht, Netherlands. Applications can be submitted via the Utrecht Summer School website by 15 June 2017. The fee for the course and materials, to be paid upon acceptance, is €450. Accommodation by the Utrecht Summer School is an additional €200, for which you can sign up during your application process. Fees exclude meals and travel.

In collaboration with

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Education Program

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Course: Art as Politics [rerun]

Due to popular demand, BAK Public Studies offers yet another rerun of the online course Art as Politics, taking place on the following dates: 15, 18, 22, 25, 29 March & 1 April 2021. This digital extension of BAK Public Studies, taught by Maria Hlavajova, is prompted by the urgency to continue collective thinking through, learning about, and imagining critical, politically-informed artistic practices that grasp—and intervene into—the present.
Deadline applications: 3 March. Deadline feewaivers: 23 February.

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