Lecture

25 October 2007

Citizens and Subjects

If the current “western condition” is by and large defined by fear, what place does artistic and intellectual practice actually have within such troubled circumstances? What possibilities do artists have to respond to the present urgencies? The project Citizens and Subjects, the three-part Dutch contribution to the 52nd Venice Biennale, presents one such possibility. It is comprised of Aernout Mik’s video and architectural installation in the Dutch Pavilion in Venice, a critical reader with contributions by artists and scholars working in the Netherlands and this series of lectures and seminars, all of which reflect in various ways on the enduring anxiety, stemming from myriad real or imagined threats, acutely palpable in the (so-called) West. In dialogue with the protocol that the Venice Biennale imposes—as a forum in which a large number of countries from all around the world contribute (and compete) with “national representations” in their national pavilions—Citizens and Subjects explores the interplays between current notions of the nation-state and the assumed dangers that it finds necessary to deter preemptively through increased “security” measures. Immigration and terrorism are prime sources of the looming danger in this rhetoric of the West to which we are all subjected; it is a rhetoric that has become our new “normal” through its ceaseless repetition in politics and the media. In this introductory lecture to the series Citizens and Subjects: Practices and Debates, Aernout Mik and Maria Hlavajova discuss these concerns as a paradigm of our contemporaneity and offer their views on how we might imagine another possible kind of reality through art.

Suggestions from the archive

Exhibition

31 October–31 December 2004

Cordially Invited, episode 3

Cordially Invited examines the issue of hospitality in relation to a topic of major global, political, and moral consequence today: migration. The project explores these issues through the notion of a cordial invitation, understood here as a symbolic tool which can be used to negotiate between two imaginary, unattainable ideals: the unrestricted right to move across political and economic boundaries, and the unqualified acceptance such rights imply.

Exhibition

Lecture

Lecture

Lecture

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Lecture

Lecture Program

12 November–17 December 2005

Undercurrents

Undercurrents is a dynamic, informal forum for reflection about what is behind the contemporary state of warfare. It is developed as an equal parallel to the exhibition Soft Target. War as a Daily, First-Hand Reality.

Summer School

22-26 July 2019

BAK Summer School: Art as Politics

BAK Summer School: Art as Politics brings together those involved in arts, academia, and social action to collectively think through, learn about, and imagine critical, politically-informed artistic practices that grasp and influence our dramatically changing times. Deadline for applications: 1 May 2019.

Lecture

Education Program

11 March–15 April 2019

Course: Art and Politics

The basic course of the BAK School for Art and Politics is organized from 11 March until 15 April 2019. 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.