16 October 2021, 15.00-18.30


Launch: An Anecdoted Archive of Exhibition Lives

On 16 October 2021 BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht presents the launch of An Anecdoted Archive of Exhibition Lives  (14 September 2021–ongoing), an online exhibition conceptualized by Irit Rogoff and Nora Sternfeld for freethought collective. The project is a part of “Spectral Infrastructure,” a long-term project by freethought at BAK.

Video registration of this program:

An Anecdoted Archive of Exhibition Lives assembles narratives of significant personal encounters with exhibitions, resulting in an archive that speaks to and about exhibitions which—albeit not equally recognized in terms of status or importance by conventional art history—have made a difference to the thinking and working practices of those who have encountered them, both then and now. The project also addresses the illusion of a global arts community that promotes a rhetoric of “equality,” despite being based on circulation, exposure, and rising market values. An Anecdoted Archive of Exhibition Lives attempts to offer a “counter-cartography” of arts communities that are not dependent on markets and globalizing incentives. The project tracks how exhibitions become ongoing encounters, with some of the interviewees speaking toward the rewriting of public spaces, the perpetual value of research, their family relations, and an increasing awareness of their bodies. The project’s effort at a counter cartography is in fact an effort to de-center, de-canonize, and  propose another system of value for their appreciation, as well as another set of potential locations for their appearance.

At the launch, freethought members Irit Rogoff and Nora Sternfeld  invite artist Larry Achiampong and curator and researcher Lynhan Balatbat-Helbock to speak about their work. Achiampong introduces his fictioning filmic essays Relic 1 (2017) and Relic 2 (2019) that propose how shifts in balance between world powers are rooted not in might, but in the textures of memory, imagination, and landscape. Balatbat-Helbock introduces her work as part of the Colonial Neighbours project at Savvy Contemporary, Berlin that deals with German colonial histories and their ongoing effects, which, in so doing, builds an archive that is not stable and peaceful, but agitated by “toxic objects.”

As a culminating note, the contributors engage in a conversation on the next strand of the research itinerary “Spectral Infrastructure,” titled “The Unarchivable.” Developed over the coming year as part of freethought’s long-term project on “Spectral Infrastructure” at BAK, this research centers on that which haunts the archive, by what means is such a haunt authorized, and how might this work change not  only the archive’s content, but the very concept of the archive itself.

The program can be followed both in person at BAK and online. If you are joining us in person at BAK, please note it is required to show a “Coronatoegangsbewijs” (Corona entry pass) at the door.

Program Launch
(All times are Central European Summer Time [CEST])

15.00–15.55 hrs
Introduction by Irit Rogoff and Nora Sternfeld of freethought collective
15.55–16.35 hrs
Presentation Larry Achiampong, followed by a conversation with Irit Rogoff

16.35–17.15 hrs
Presentation by Lynhan Balatbat-Helbock, followed by a conversation with Nora Sternfeld

17.15–17.30 hrs

17.30–18.30 hrs
Panel discussion and Q&A

Important: “Coronatoegangsbewijs” [Update 16–09–2021]
Please note: for this program, it is required to show a “Coronatoegangsbewijs” (Corona entry pass) at the door. This is an official proof of vaccination or recovery, or a negative test result. You can present this proof via a QR-code in the CoronaCheck app, or via a printed version from Please also bring along a valid ID. More information about the “Coronatoegangsbewijs” can be found here on the website of the Dutch Government. Please also review our other Covid-19 guidelines here.

To join the program in person at BAK, register via the “Register (In Person)” button above*. Please arrive 10 minutes early so we can safely guide you to your seat. We have some Covid-19 guidelines in place to make sure your visit is as safe and pleasant as possible.
Options In-Person Registration: 
Regular Ticket: €6 / Student Ticket: €3 / Solidarity Ticket: Free
Free for We Are Public members, reserve via and show your card at the door

To join the program online, register tickets via the “Register (Online)” button above. 
There are several ways to join us online. Please join free of charge by selecting the “solidarity ticket” option. If you are able and willing to support BAK’s program’s financially, please consider selecting a paid ticket option.
Options Online Registration: 
Solidarity Ticket: Free / Regular Ticket: €4 / Student Ticket: €2

After registration, you are sent the link to the Zoom webinar.

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Your donation helps support BAK’s programs, and our ability to offer solidarity tickets to those who otherwise would not be able to join our programs. In the check-out screen, donation options (starting from €2) to support BAK are available. 

*From 26 June 2021 it is also possible again to purchase a ticket at the door, but pre-booking is recommended.


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