Exhibition

12 May–22 July 2018

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

Doug Ashford, _Bunker 2, 2017, video still. Courtesy the artist and Wilfried Lentz Rotterdam

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.

 

Opening

On Saturday 12 May 2018 BAK, basis voor actuele kunst opens the exhibition. During the opening Sepake Angiama, Doug Ashford, Sven Augustijnen, and Otobong Nkanga will be present. The opening is free of charge.

Program:
17.00 Doors open
18.00–19.00 Lecture and Q&A with Doug Ashford
19.00–20.00 Screening of Sarah Vanhee’s The Making of Justice (2017)
21.00 End

 

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.

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.

Suggestions from the archive

Workshop

17 May 2018

Al Maeishah

As part of the weeklong program Moving Together: Activism, Art and Education – A Week with Angela Davis, 2017/2018 BAK Fellows Isshaq Al-Barbary and Diego Segatto (Campus in Camps) lead a workshop at BAK.

Performative conference

25 November 2017

Assemblism

Propositions #2

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

10 February 2018

Art as Commitment

Propositions #3

Propositions #3: Art as Commitment is the third convening platform in BAK’s long-term research series Propositions for Non-Fascist Living (2017–2020), prompted by the dramatic resurfacing and normalization of historical and contemporary fascisms in our present.

Performative Conference

Performative conference

17 March 2018

Unpacking Aesthetics and the Far Right

Propositions #4

This is the fourth performative conference within the series Propositions for Non-Fascist Living (2017–2020). With contributions by Larne Abse Gogarty, Kader Attia, Angela Dimitrakaki and iLiana Fokianaki, Morgan Quaintance, Ana Teixeira Pinto, Harry Weeks, and Giovanna Zapperi.

Performative conference

BAK Summer School 2017

17-21 July 2017

BAK Summer School: Art in a Time of Interregnum

The BAK Summer School: Art in a Time of Interregnum brings together artists, curators, art theorists, and academics to collectively think through, learn about, and imagine critical, politically-informed artistic practices that work to grasp and influence our dramatically changing times.

BAK Summer School 2018

16-20 July 2018

BAK Summer School: Art and Practice in the Otherwise

Applications are now open for BAK Summer School: Art and Practice in the Otherwise. This is an advanced, interdisciplinary course that brings together those involved in arts, academia, and activisms to collectively think through, learn about, and imagine critical, politically-informed artistic practices that grasp and influence our dramatically changing times.

public editorial meeting

16-17 May 2014

Other Survivalisms

Under the title Other Survivalisms, on 16 and 17 May 2014 BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht hosts the second installment of its public editorial meetings geared towards the realization of the forthcoming FORMER WEST publication

Educational platform

Educational platform

Educational platform

Educational platform

Educational platform

13 February–29 December 2014

Survival

The project Future Vocabularies is initiated in 2014 with an opening vocabulary entry on survival. It is envisioned as a foundational sequence, evolving over the course of the full year and made up of multiple conceptual narratives from which to draw the subsequent themes and methods for both thinking and acting.

05 February–29 November 2015

Human-Inhuman-Posthuman

Realized in collaboration with BAK Research Fellow Rosi Braidotti and the BAK team, this semestral program outlines potential artistic, intellectual, and activist itineraries of working through the contemporary realities, and attempts to create an understanding of the altered meanings of art vis-à-vis such critical present-day developments.

23 September 2014–01 May 2016

Future Collections

A long-term collaboration between BAK and Centraal Museum exploring various collaborative possibilities to rethink the mission of the art institution in today’s rapidly changing global condition.

08 September 2015–24 June 2017

Instituting Otherwise

In 2016–2017, BAK dedicates a series of discursive, educational, and exhibitionary projects to the notion of the institution and how to, amidst contemporary challenges, “institute otherwise.”

Workshop

Exhibition

Congress