Lecture

25 October 2007

Citizens and Subjects


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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.

In collaboration with

Suggestions from the archive

Education Program

26 October–30 November 2020

Course: Art as Politics [Rerun on Request]

Due to popular demand, BAK Public Studies offers yet another rerun of the online course Art as Politics, taking place on the following dates: 26 October & 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30 November 2020. 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.

Exhibition

30 September–11 October 2020

HKU MA Fine Art Graduation Show: If Not Now

From 30 September–11 October 2020, BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht hosts If Not Now, the graduation exhibition of the 2018−2020 MA Fine Art class of HKU University of the Arts Utrecht, curated by Katia Krupennikova.