Lecture

30 October 2014

Constructing Other Worlds

BAK artistic director Maria Hlavajova gives a talk in Bucharest on 30 October 2014 as a part of the Evening classes series of conferences, screenings, presentations, and discussions, organized by the Salonul de Proiecte curatorial programme.

Constructing Other Worlds

Nearly a century ago, political thinker Antonio Gramsci articulated the notion of crisis as grounded “precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born.” If it is true that we find ourselves at such a historical moment characterized, as Gramsci further anticipated, by a “great variety of morbid symptoms,” how, then, are we to understand the possibilities contained within art vis-à-vis the struggles that define our contemporaneity? As we part from the legacy of the modern, and observe extant hegemonies (paradoxically) tightening and losing their grip at the same time, what is our art to do? How can we—with and through art—trace prospective itineraries pointing towards what we once used to call the “future” and activate the proposition of not only imagining, but constructing, new worlds? In addressing these complex questions from three perspectives—artistic labor, infrastructure, and “future publics”—Maria Hlavajova draws upon her research within two interrelated projects she has engaged with, FORMER WEST (2008–2016) and Future Vocabularies (2014–2016). If the former aims at developing a critical understanding of the legacy of the radical resistance to power in 1989 in order to reevaluate the global present and speculate about global futures, the latter attempts to act out concrete propositions that explore the shifts in our existing conceptual vocabulary within artistic, intellectual, and activist practices.

Salonul de proiecte is a curatorial program initiated by Magda Radu and Alexandra Croitoru, functioning within MNAC Anexa. This program envisages the organization of exhibitions, presentations, and debates focusing on Romanian contemporary art and placing young artists’ productions into a broader generational context.

For more information regarding Salonul de proiecte, see the program’s website here.

Suggestions from the archive

Education Program

15 March–01 April 2021

Course: Art as Politics [rerun]

Due to popular demand, BAK Public Studies offers yet another rerun of the online course Art as Politics, taking place on the following dates: 15, 18, 22, 25, 29 March & 1 April 2021. 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.
Deadline applications: 3 March. Deadline feewaivers: 23 February.

Assembly and Public Forum

Collaboration and Open call

03 December 2020–30 January 2021

Manifesting Systemic Change through Creative Waves

A collaborative open call by Stichting Nederland Wordt Beter, The Black Archives/New Urban Collective, Black Queer & Trans Resistance NL, Kick Out Zwarte Piet (KOZP) and BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, for artists and writers to manifest the Manifesting Systemic Change Through Creative Waves manifesto.

Conversation

16 December 2020, 19.00-21.00

Practicing Tactical Solidarities II: A Roundtable on Mutual Aid, Emergency, and Continuous Care

This locally-focused second edition of Practicing Tactical Solidarities: A Roundtable on Mutual Aid, Emergency, and Continuous Care features artists, organizers, and activists working in Utrecht, many of whom are current BAK Fellows. While addressing changing needs and urgencies in the protracted pandemic reality and its overlapping and related crises, the conversation contends with tactics and lessons in creating mutual aid networks, lasting support systems, and emergency care.