Exhibition

01 June–30 October 2007

Dutch Pavilion, Venice  

Citizens and Subjects: Aernout Mik

Aernout Mik, Mock Up, 2007, videostill

Opening times

Fri 1 Jun 2007
Sat 2 Jun 2007
Sun 3 Jun 2007
Wed 6 Jun 2007
Thu 7 Jun 2007
Fri 8 Jun 2007
Sat 9 Jun 2007
Sun 10 Jun 2007
Wed 13 Jun 2007
Thu 14 Jun 2007
Fri 15 Jun 2007
Sat 16 Jun 2007
Sun 17 Jun 2007
Wed 20 Jun 2007
Thu 21 Jun 2007
Fri 22 Jun 2007
Sat 23 Jun 2007
Sun 24 Jun 2007
Wed 27 Jun 2007
Thu 28 Jun 2007
Fri 29 Jun 2007
Sat 30 Jun 2007
Sun 1 Jul 2007
Wed 4 Jul 2007
Thu 5 Jul 2007
Fri 6 Jul 2007
Sat 7 Jul 2007
Sun 8 Jul 2007
Wed 11 Jul 2007
Thu 12 Jul 2007
Fri 13 Jul 2007
Sat 14 Jul 2007
Sun 15 Jul 2007
Wed 18 Jul 2007
Thu 19 Jul 2007
Fri 20 Jul 2007
Sat 21 Jul 2007
Sun 22 Jul 2007
Wed 25 Jul 2007
Thu 26 Jul 2007
Fri 27 Jul 2007
Sat 28 Jul 2007
Sun 29 Jul 2007
Wed 1 Aug 2007
Thu 2 Aug 2007
Fri 3 Aug 2007
Sat 4 Aug 2007
Sun 5 Aug 2007
Wed 8 Aug 2007
Thu 9 Aug 2007
Fri 10 Aug 2007
Sat 11 Aug 2007
Sun 12 Aug 2007
Wed 15 Aug 2007
Thu 16 Aug 2007
Fri 17 Aug 2007
Sat 18 Aug 2007
Sun 19 Aug 2007
Wed 22 Aug 2007
Thu 23 Aug 2007
Fri 24 Aug 2007
Sat 25 Aug 2007
Sun 26 Aug 2007
Wed 29 Aug 2007
Thu 30 Aug 2007
Fri 31 Aug 2007
Sat 1 Sep 2007
Sun 2 Sep 2007
Wed 5 Sep 2007
Thu 6 Sep 2007
Fri 7 Sep 2007
Sat 8 Sep 2007
Sun 9 Sep 2007
Wed 12 Sep 2007
Thu 13 Sep 2007
Fri 14 Sep 2007
Sat 15 Sep 2007
Sun 16 Sep 2007
Wed 19 Sep 2007
Thu 20 Sep 2007
Fri 21 Sep 2007
Sat 22 Sep 2007
Sun 23 Sep 2007
Wed 26 Sep 2007
Thu 27 Sep 2007
Fri 28 Sep 2007
Sat 29 Sep 2007
Sun 30 Sep 2007
Wed 3 Oct 2007
Thu 4 Oct 2007
Fri 5 Oct 2007
Sat 6 Oct 2007
Sun 7 Oct 2007
Wed 10 Oct 2007
Thu 11 Oct 2007
Fri 12 Oct 2007
Sat 13 Oct 2007
Sun 14 Oct 2007
Wed 17 Oct 2007
Thu 18 Oct 2007
Fri 19 Oct 2007
Sat 20 Oct 2007
Sun 21 Oct 2007
Wed 24 Oct 2007
Thu 25 Oct 2007
Fri 26 Oct 2007
Sat 27 Oct 2007
Sun 28 Oct 2007

In Citizens and Subjects, Aernout Mik presents a new, complex multichannel video installation consisting of three new works embedded in an architectural intervention in the Dutch Pavilion. Training Ground (2007), Convergencies (2007), and Mock Up (2007) extend into one another to create a multifaceted installation.

In the two-channel installation, Training Ground, a fictional training is shown, in which policemen learn and rehearse tactics for handling the arrest of refugees and various techniques of law enforcement. Through repetition, mimicry, inertia, re-enactment (including references to other filmic work, namely Jean Rouch’s 1954 Les maitres fous) and building of irrational excess, the scenes of the fictitious training gradually transgress into a series of cathartic moments questioning settled hierarchies of power and ways of handling issues such as (illegal) immigration in the so-called West.

Convergencies is a two-channel work, in which Mik puts together existing documentary footage gathered from international news agencies. Starting from the idea of training, he looks at what kind of “threats” we feel need to be actively addressed in order to respond to the pervasive sentiments of anxiety within society. Here footage related to immigration is entwined with media images from trainings and real situations aimed at dealing with a potential attack or crisis that would compromise local or national security, the nature of which is at times difficult to detect. Although the situations involved are filled with chaos, confusion and unpredictability on one hand, on the other the police, teams of first responders, refugees and victims seem to populate these scenes with a baffling sense of routine, as if suggesting that this state of alert is our new “normal”.

The four-channel video installation Mock Up is a fictional work filmed in an uninhabited Dutch “village” Marnehuizen, which is one of the largest military exercise sites in Europe. In a “detention centre” built for this occasion inside the compound, a training for evacuation of the building in the case of a fire is staged. Besides detainees and guards, the fire brigade, police and various medical teams are present. The cast on the film set involves a large number of young people who are part of the drill. Through the interaction between the adults and the young people—Mik’s narratives evolve through action before the camera, without the use of scripts or rehearsals—the actors begin questioning the unspoken rules and conventions of the situation. They infuse the course of things with aberrant behavior and absurd actions, over-saturating the work with irrational play and empowering invention, as if this was a space through which new confidence in other possibilities could materialize.

With the project Citizens and Subjects Aernout Mik questions the simplified distinction between citizens (as those with the rights and full privileges of belonging to a state or nation) and subjects (as those under rule or authority) today. On one hand he asks, aren’t we all actually subjected in the same way to this rather disquieting reality? Concurrently, he clarifies the notion of the “subject” as one who is capable of acting in order to overcome the distinction between subjection and possible liberation, metaphorically suggesting that perhaps it is from here that new opportunities might emerge.

Program

lecture program
25.10.–29.11.2007
Citizens and Subjects: Practices and Debates

Suggestions from the archive

Exhibition

17 March 2018–31 August 2019

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The Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven opens a space inspired by The People’s Parliament of Rojava, a project of the Democratic Self-Administration in Rojava, Northern-Syria, designed in collaboration with artist Jonas Staal and his New World Summit team. This project would not have been possible without the work of the New World Academy (2013–2016), co-founded by BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, and Staal.

Exhibition

Discursive

Lecture

Lecture

Lecture

Lecture

Lecture, Conversation

Learning

Lecture

Conversation

Seminar