Lecture

9 December 2006

Unclaimed Knowledge

Artists working within and among various fields of knowledge often focus on information, stories, alternative visions, or events that are not privileged in the dominant discourses of politics, economics, or history. They give this “nonknowledge,” which is “unclaimed” or repressed, a new life in the context of art in works that make use of intricate narratives and complex image composition. Knowing and unknowing are transformed into an artistic object or activity. Yet artist’s diverse methods in dealing with (non)knowledge do not amount to a simple “visual representation” or clarification of the unknown. Instead, artists themselves often work in a space between rationalization and intuition, planning and contingency, exposure and concealment. As philosopher Jacques Rancière has noted, “[…] artistic phenomena are identified by their adherence to a specific regime of the sensible, which is extricated from its ordinary connections and is inhabited by a heterogeneous power, the power of a form of thought that has become foreign to itself: a product identical with something not produced, knowledge transformed into non-knowledge, logos identical with pathos, the intention of the unintentional, etc.”

In their diversity and heterogeneity, these forms of “knowledge/non-knowledge” retain their critical potential and alternative content. Unclaimed knowledge exerts its specific power because of its ambiguity or indecisiveness and not, as in existing knowledge systems, because of its authoritative “truth.” Contemporary art works, both visual and non-retinal (Duchamp) involve the viewer’s active engagement in terms of both form and content. How can this play of knowledge and nonknowledge be circulated and seek an audience? Are contemporary art museums and galleries hospitable spaces for this kind of knowledge to be shared?

Program

Unclaimed Knowledge explores how marginalized knowledge is shaped into new forms (artistic knowledge, non-knowledge) through contemporary art practices, and looks at the particular role of the “visual” in these practices.

14.00 hrs
Discussion group

16.00 hrs
Lectures by and discussion with
Sven Lütticken, art critic and art historian, Amsterdam
Eva Meyer & Eran Schaerf, philosopher and artist, Berlin

19.00 hrs
Break (with optional light meal)

20.00 hrs
Performance by artist Claire Harvey and screening of video documentation of a performance by choreographer Ivana Müller.

Suggestions from the archive

Exhibition

31 October–31 December 2004

Cordially Invited, episode 3

Cordially Invited examines the issue of hospitality in relation to a topic of major global, political, and moral consequence today: migration. The project explores these issues through the notion of a cordial invitation, understood here as a symbolic tool which can be used to negotiate between two imaginary, unattainable ideals: the unrestricted right to move across political and economic boundaries, and the unqualified acceptance such rights imply.

Exhibition

Lecture

Lecture

Lecture

Lecture

Lecture

Lecture Program

12 November–17 December 2005

Undercurrents

Undercurrents is a dynamic, informal forum for reflection about what is behind the contemporary state of warfare. It is developed as an equal parallel to the exhibition Soft Target. War as a Daily, First-Hand Reality.

Summer School

22-26 July 2019

BAK Summer School: Art as Politics

BAK Summer School: Art as Politics brings together those involved in arts, academia, and social action to collectively think through, learn about, and imagine critical, politically-informed artistic practices that grasp and influence our dramatically changing times. Deadline for applications: 1 May 2019.

Lecture

Education Program

11 March–15 April 2019

Course: Art and Politics

The basic course of the BAK School for Art and Politics is organized from 11 March until 15 April 2019. In six weekly sessions, the participants learn about how contemporary art relates to the political in an accessible way. The course is taught by Maria Hlavajova, BAK’s general and artistic director.