Exhibition

12 May–22 July 2018

First Person Plural: Empathy, Intimacy, Irony, and Anger

Opening: 12 May 2018, 17.00

  • Doug Ashford, Six Moments in 1967 and Some of its Bodies, 2010–2011, exhibition First Person Plural: Empathy, Intimacy, Irony, and Anger at BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, 2018. Photo: Tom Janssen

  • Doug Ashford, Nocturne. Oslo, Norway, July 22 2011, 2017, exhibition First Person Plural: Empathy, Intimacy, Irony, and Anger BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, 2018. Photo: Tom Janssen

  • Liz Magic Laser, Primal Speech, 2016, exhibition First Person Plural: Empathy, Intimacy, Irony, and Anger at BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, 2018. Photo: Tom Janssen

  • Tala Madani, Oven III, 2018, exhibition First Person Plural: Empahty, Intimacy, Irony, and Anger at BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, 2018. Photo: Peter Cox

The group exhibition First Person Plural: Empathy, Intimacy, Irony, and Anger inquires into the emotional infrastructures of the present. What roles do emotions and affects play in forming collectivities and political belonging? What kind of “we’s” do empathy, intimacy, irony, and anger assemble, and how do they determine which “first person plurals” someone is part of? And where does the affective power of art stand in these processes?

The exhibition considers these questions along contemporary political, economic, technological, and social challenges—including the alarming surfacing of fascisms in public life. Pondering the emotional as an organizing force across political spectrums, emotions are understood not as individual mental states but as collective material and affective practices that are both shaped by and shape social life. The works in the exhibition challenge the familiar, divisive narratives of a “we,” such as the nation and the so-called “refugee crisis,” and allude to emotions as entry points for manipulation.

The exhibition features works by artists Doug Ashford, Sven Augustijnen, Tala Madani, Liz Magic Laser, Eva and Franco Mattes, Otobong Nkanga, and Sarah Vanhee, as well as a library space conceived by 2017/2018 BAK Fellow Sepake Angiama. Titled We Summon Here All Beings Present, Past & Future, this space features books, films, audio pieces, and posters, as well as a series of public workshops to activate them.

 

Public Program

The exhibition First Person Plural: Empathy, Intimacy, Irony, and Anger also provides a framework for two performative conferences within BAK’s long-term series Propositions for Non-Fascist Living (2017–2020):

Propositions #5: First Person Plural takes place on 19 May 2018 as part of Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels, and is dedicated to the many legacies of 1968 as they continue 50 years later. It features contributions by 2017/2018 BAK Fellows Sepake Angiama, Luigi Coppola, Quinsy Gario, Ola Hassanain, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, and Otobong Nkanga, as well as Charl Landvreugd and Marinella Senatore, among others.

Propositions #6: The Temporary Institute for the Contemporary, organized at BAK on 30 June 2018, enacts a temporary “institute of the contemporary” as the culmination of the first year of BAK’s Fellowship Program. 2017/2018 BAK Fellows Sepake Angiama, Isshaq Al-Barbary and Diego Segatto (Campus in Camps), Matthijs de Bruijne, Luigi Coppola, Quinsy Gario, Ola Hassanain, Otobong Nkanga, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, and Pelin Tan present their respective research itineraries as well as their “collective dictionary” project.

21 June 2018: Film Screening The Making of Justice (2017) & Artist Talk

5 July 2018: Film Screening Spectres (2011) & Artist Talk

 

 

The exhibition First Person Plural: Empathy, Intimacy, Irony, and Anger is curated by BAK Curator Matteo Lucchetti and conceptualized by the BAK artistic team as part of the series Propositions for Non-Fascist Living.

The realization of this project has been made possible through financial contributions by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the City Council, Utrecht.

BAK’s main partner in the field of education and research is HKU University of the Arts Utrecht.

Made possible by

Suggestions from the archive

Guided Tour

Guided Tour

5 April 2018, 18.00-21.00

Evening Tours of Matthijs de Bruijne: Compromiso Político

On the evening of Thursday 5 April 2018, BAK opens its doors and the exhibition Matthijs de Bruijne: Compromiso Político, also with works by Jeremy Deller, Piero Gilardi, and Mierle Laderman Ukeles (on view until 15 April 2018). A guided tour of the exhibition is given by both the curator of the exhibition, Matteo Lucchetti, and artist and 2017/2018 BAK Fellow Matthijs de Bruijne.

Screening

Screening

Performative Conference

30 June, 16.00–1 July, 00.00 2018

Propositions #6: The Temporary Institute for the Contemporary

Propositions #6: The Temporary Institute for the Contemporary marks the culmination of a vibrant and inspiring 2017/2018 pilot year of the BAK Fellowship Program. Through conversations, readings, and performances, the BAK Fellows share insights into their respective artistic research itineraries, as well as their common “collective dictionary” project.

Performance

Workshop

Performative conference

25 November 2017

Propositions #2: Assemblism

Propositions #2: Assemblism is a day-long gathering that addresses the current rise of the new authoritarian world order, and the millions of bodies that have gathered in resistance in liberated autonomous zones, occupied buildings, city squares, prisons, and cultural spaces to collectively enact a different demand for egalitarian society.

Talks and conversations

Performative Conference

Performative conference