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.

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Suggestions from the archive

Education Program

23 September–28 October 2019

Course: Art and Politics (BAK Public Studies)

From 23 September until 28 October 2019, BAK organizes the course “Art and Politics.” 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. Deadline for registrations: 17 September 2019.

Education Program

8-29 October 2019

Course: Instituting Otherwise (BAK Public Studies)

Part of BAK Public Studies, the course Instituting Otherwise, which takes place at BAK, basis voor actuele kunst in Utrecht from 8–29 October 2019, focuses on the possibilities of the (art) institution within and in spite of the current political predicament. The course is taught by Maria Hlavajova, BAK general and artistic director. Deadline for registrations: 2 October 2019.

Education Program

14 December 2018

Mapping Histories: Conversing on Visuality and Subalternity

workshop by Lisa Ito

On 14 December 2018 art historian and activist Lisa Ito gives a workshop “Mapping Histories: Conversing on Visuality and Subalternity” as part of the Royal Academy of Art Non Linear Narrative master’s program. The workshop is held at BAK in the framework of Propositions #7: Evidentiary Methods—the public program in the context of the exhibition Forensic Justice.