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

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

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

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