Propositions #10: Instituting Otherwise
Carmen Papalia, Open Access, collective performance in the context of Trainings for the Not-Yet, BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, 26 October 2019, photo: Tom Janssen
Propositions #10: Instituting Otherwise is a one-day public symposium on the civic practice of art institutions, organized by BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht on Saturday 7 December 2019, from 13.00–21.00 hrs. The symposium probes the question of how to institute spaces for art in the face of the pressing urgencies of the present.
Driven by these urgencies—such as environmental violence, persistent racism, systemic inequalities, as well as fascisms and micro-fascisms—the symposium engages with the proposition of the art institution as a microcosm of a world centered on social and ecological justice. In this proposition, the practices of the art institution are the actualization of the collective alternative imaginings of the “not-yet”: of “another world” and “another future.” Key to such an imaginary are the constituencies the institution serves, and the consequent re-compositions of institutional practice not only with regard to what western modernity used to call “audiences,” but across all institutional processes. The symposium discusses challenges related to such a repurposing of the art institution, and considers notions of civic practice, collaborative learning and radical pedagogy, solidarity and mutual care, as well as the fallacy of institutional politico-ideological neutrality.
The notion of “instituting otherwise” has been an adage since the inception of BAK in 2000, which has driven its practice as a basis where art, research, theory, and social action meet in coalition to imagine and actualize alternatives to today’s world. Over the past twenty years, BAK has been developing this notion through various multifaceted programs, research, and publications, as well as in intensive collaborations with its multi-talented, poly-vocal constituencies. “Instituting otherwise” is a method of continuous interrogation of the conditions of the world, with and alongside these constituencies, and a way of confronting the injustices in the world collectively and propositionally. It is at the same time a systematic move away from institutions as they persist—specifically in the west and in ways redolent of the colonial era—as custodians of power engaged in depoliticizing and neutralizing the possibility of art as aesthetico-political experimentation geared toward another future. Instead, this method moves toward a concrete, tactical realization of alternatives to the world we know today.
With contributions by: Yasmin Ahmed (activist, Amsterdam), Isshaq Al-Barbary (artist and researcher, Amsterdam), Barby Asante (artist, curator, and educator, London), Matthijs de Bruijne (artist and union organizer, Amsterdam), Mitchell Esajas (anthropologist, curator, and social entrepreneur, Amsterdam), Jeanne van Heeswijk (artist, Rotterdam), Maria Hlavajova (General and Artistic Director of BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht), Triwish Hanoeman (musician and cultural entrepreneur, Utrecht), Nicoline van Harskamp (artist, Amsterdam), Natalia Kulik (public speaker, moderator and project coordinator, Utrecht), Andrea Phillips (theorist and writer, London), Laura Raicovich (curator and writer, New York), Shay Raviv (social designer and researcher, Utrecht), Jun Saturay (artist, Utrecht), Mustapha Seray Bah (trainer, organizer, discussion leader, Utrecht), and others.
Propositions #10: Instituting Otherwise is a temporary spin-off from Trainings for the Not-Yet (14 September 2019–12 January 2020) currently taking place at BAK, and is the tenth iteration of BAK’s long-term research series Propositions for Non-Fascist Living (2017–ongoing), which seeks to collectively think and act out ways of being together otherwise. The symposium is preceded by a series of workshops for fellow art institutions, funds, and policy makers in the Netherlands, held at BAK on 6 December 2019. Both these events are part of BAK’s commitment to public practice and aim to share preliminary learnings from Trainings for the Not-Yet, specifically at the point where many art institutions in the Netherlands are finalizing their policies for the forthcoming four-year funding period.
Saturday 7 December, 13–21 hrs, including dinner from 17.45–19 hrs in the Basic Activist Kitchen
Tickets (via Eventbrite):
Regular tickets: €20 incl. dinner / €10 excl. dinner
Student tickets: €17.50 incl. dinner / €7.50 excl. dinner
Solidarity tickets: BAK provides solidarity tickets for those who would otherwise not be able to attend. These tickets provide free entry. If this applies to you, please choose the option Solidarity Ticket in Eventbrite (please note: for dinner there is a fixed prize of €10; there are Solidarity Tickets available with or without dinner option).
A possibility to visit Trainings for the Not-Yet, an exhibition as a series of trainings for a future of being together otherwise, convened with a multitude of collaborators by artist Jeanne van Heeswijk
Instituting Otherwise: An Introduction
Trainings for the Not-Yet
Maria Hlavajova and Jeanne van Heeswijk
Rethinking Relationships: The Future (Art) Institution (I)
Mitchell Esajas, Triwish Hanoeman, Nicoline van Harskamp, and Shay Raviv, moderated by Mustapha Seray Bah
Manifestations of Neutrality
Rethinking Relationships: The Future (Art) Institution (II)
Yasmin Ahmed, Isshaq Al-Barbary, Matthijs de Bruijne, and Jun Saturay, moderated by Natalia Kulik
The Declaration of Independence
How to Organize Otherwise?
A Case Study from the North East of England
For the full program with information about all the program items (subject to changes) click here: Program Propositions #10 Instituting Otherwise
BAK’s activities are 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.