Course: Art as Politics (A Fundraiser for Beirut Art Fund)
An Online Extension of BAK Public Studies
Design by Sean van den Steenhoven*
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The sessions take place on the following Monday and Thursdays, 19-21 hrs CET, via Zoom: 14, 17, 21, 24, 28 September, and 1 October 2020
BAK organizes this edition of the course Art as Politics to donate the proceeds to Beirut Art Fund. The fund, set up by Mophradat, supports Beiruti artists, initiatives, and institutions in the aftermath of the 4 August 2020 explosion.
The online course Art as Politics, a digital extension of BAK Public Studies, 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. The course brings those involved and/or interested in art, theory, and social action into collective conversation with a focus on: the changing nature of artistic practices in the face of multiple and entwined crises, critical redefinitions of “publics,” institutional structuring, and art as envisioning and actualizing politics of “being together otherwise” in—and in spite of—the future of the “1,5-meter society.”
Over six sessions, the participants engage in an in-depth analysis of concrete works of art and projects from within the BAK archive of practice, focusing on the historical period starting with the pivotal year 1989. The case studies and examples of artworks are mainly from BAK’s renowned international projects Propositions for Non-Fascist Living (2017–ongoing), Former West (2008–2016), and Future Vocabularies (2013–2016), and include works by artists such as Tania Bruguera, Matthijs de Bruijne, Forensic Architecture, Jeanne van Heeswijk, Aernout Mik, Rabih Mroué, Christoph Schlingensief, Jonas Staal, Hito Steyerl, and others. The course takes a broad view on artistic production, institutions, and publics, and attempts to build a critical vocabulary through which to reshape understanding and practice of art in the face of present global challenges.
The course is taught by Maria Hlavajova, BAK’s general and artistic director.
Participating in the course is open to all concerned with the question as to what art can do in times like ours. Prior knowledge or experience in the subject matter is not required.
Deadline for Applications: 4 September 2020
Dates: Monday and Thursdays on 14, 17, 21, 24, 28 September, and 1 October 2020
Time: 19–21 hrs CET
Location: Online via Zoom
Fee: € 200 (individuals, incl. VAT) and € 350 (institutions, incl. VAT), to be paid before the start of the course. Participants are welcome to pay a larger fee in case they are willing and able to do so; all proceeds from this edition of Art as Politics will go to Beirut Art Fund.
Study material (reader): optional – € 15 plus shipping costs. The reader includes “additional readings,” the core reading material is included in the course fee and will be made available digitally.
Check shipping cost/check shipping time (please note that due to Covid-19, shipping times can take longer: there is a risk you will not receive the reader in time for the start of the course).
Applications should be sent in via the form on the BAK website, click button “APPLY NOW” at the top or find it here.
Please note: if we receive the maximum amount of applications we have to close the open call early. This will be indicated as soon as possible on our website; please check before sending in your application.
Click here to view the terms and conditions.
If you have any additional questions, you can contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org
BAK Public Studies
BAK Public Studies offer critical insights into theoretical foundations and concrete actualizations of art as public practice. Understanding art in relation to both theory and social action, BAK Public Studies form a space for collective thinking, imagining, and acting in parallel to BAK’s politically-driven and theoretically-informed research, discourse, exhibitions, and publications.
 With this term, Dutch government refers to the current and forthcoming era of pandemics as one defined by “social distancing” rules.
* Credits image, l.–r. (all photographs taken at BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht by Tom Janssen)
– Maria Hlavajova speaks during Propositions #10: Instituting Otherwise, 7 December 2019
– Forensic Architecture, M2 Hospital Bombing, 2017, installation view exhibition Forensic Justice
– Matthijs de Bruijne: Compromiso Político, installation view with works by Matthijs de Bruijne, Jeremy Deller, and Piero Gilardi, 2018
– Homebaked Community Land Trust (CLT), Homebaked Co-operative Bakery, and Homegrown Collective in collaboration with Britt Jürgensen, URBED, and Jeanne van Heeswijk, Brick by Brick and Loaf by Loaf We Build Ourselves, 2019, installation view Trainings for the Not-Yet