Exhibition

30 September–11 October 2020

HKU MA Fine Art Graduation Show: If Not Now

Graduation exhibition of the 2018−2020 MA Fine Art class at HKU University of the Arts Utrecht

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, which is curated by Katia Krupennikova. The preview takes place on Wednesday, 30 September 2020, from 13.00–17.00 hrs.

If Not Now features works by the graduates of the 2018−2020 MA Fine Art class of HKU University of the Arts Utrecht: Isshaq Al-Barbary, Charli Herrington, Carina Jansen, Bennet Edwin Kruit, Sinwah Lai, Sol Enae Lee, Winston Nanlohy, Gerardo Gomez Tonda, Gizem Üstüner, M.C. Julie Yu, and Jinxiao Zhou.

The Covid-19 lockdown caught the graduates in the final semester of their studies, and forcefully relocated everyone from classrooms, workshops, and studios to their homes. Characterized by a radical disruption of life caused by the pandemic, the exhibition If Not Now addresses the urgent need for structural revisions of the paradigms—geographical, political, institutional, social, linguistic, humanistic—that form the foundations of the contemporary world.

An abrupt confrontation with increasing precarity, growing uncertainty, and technologically mediated education has sharpened a sense of urgency to rearticulate the role of art in the face of such crises—in particular art’s promise of the future. Refusing to partake in the modern utopia and illusion of “outsourcing” solutions for current problems into an unknown future, the artists in this exhibition pave the way for inquiring how to act in the now. If Not Now starts from the multitude of challenges that confront the present and that affect the very possibility of survival—as artists, as students, as humans: from inflexible institutional and legal infrastructures that underpin contemporary education, to housing struggles, to financial and job insecurity, to the seemingly immovable power of the academy, and to inapt curricula that struggle to find connection to what is happening in the world. 

Coming from a strong awareness of their positions—simultaneously precarious and privileged, and humbled by the current situation, the artists in this show are determined to make an impact, to insist on a redefinition of norms. Without delay, they struggle to actualize the world they want to live in, not putting up with rules and relations that are imposed on them by institutions and the logic of capital. The works in this exhibition call for urgent structural, social transformation. If not now, then when?

As part of If Not Now, students and graduates of the HKU MA Fine Art program organize a live radio program, hosted by Stranded FM, that includes audio tours of the exhibition, as well as conversations with, and contributions by the artists and guests. Tune in and listen to personal stories and experiences of struggle, artistic production processes, dreams and nightmares, and to catch a glimpse of experiences and sound bites from the semester-long program Sonic Archival Practices (part of HKU MA Fine Art, year 1).

Exhibition
Opening hours: Wednesdays–Sundays 13–19 hrs
The exhibition is freely accessible during opening hours without pre-registration, but note that the max capacity in the exhibition space is somewhat limited when performances are taking place. Moreover on 7 October 17–19 hrs, the exhibition space is closed for visitors, with the exception of those who booked for the performance by Gerardo Gomez Tonda. Prior to your visit, please keep an eye on the website for changes for any Covid-19 developments.

Preview and performance program
The exhibition is accompanied by a performance program. For both the preview day and the performance program, pre-registration (via Eventbrite) is required: please register via the following link. The preview day is split up into two timeslots, 13.00–14.45 hrs & 15.15–17.00 hrs:

Program preview day, Wednesday 30 September 2020:
13.00–14.45 Exhibition preview, with word of welcome by Maria Hlavajova and introduction by Annette Krauss and Katia Krupennikova (doors open 12.45) (register here)
15.15–17.00 Exhibition preview, with word of welcome by Maria Hlavajova and introduction by Annette Krauss and Falke Pisano (register here)

Program daily performances: click here.
For more information, you can also visit the Instagram and Facebook page of the HKU MA Fine Art program.


BAK’s main partner in the field of education and research is HKU University of the Arts Utrecht. As part of the long-term collaboration with the MA HKU Fine Art program, BAK has hosted the graduation exhibitions since the beginning of the program.

Covid-19 regulations (please read before visiting BAK)
To ensure the safety of our visitors and staff on location, BAK has prepared a number of Covid-19 guidelines, including hygiene, keeping 1.5 meters distance at all times, sticking to your allocated seating, following staff instructions, and more. These guidelines are posted at our entrance, and if you book a ticket for an event at BAK, will also be sent to you via e-mail in advance. By joining our programs you agree to respect these guidelines, and we hope you join our effort in creating a safe environment for yourself and all those present!

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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.

sonic science fiction transmission

12 September 2020, 12.00-21.45

Propositions #12: Waves Breaking Walls, Futures in Movement

A culmination of the post-academic BAK 2019/2020 Fellowship Program in the form of a sonic science fiction transmission from BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht

BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, proudly invites you to Propositions #12: Waves Breaking Walls, Futures in Movement, a culmination of the BAK 2019/2020 Fellowship Program. Propositions #12 synthesizes the research and learning trajectory of the Fellowship and addresses it through “an acoustic choreography.”