Lecture

26 November 2005

On Fear (war machine and threat)

In his first speech to the American Congress after 9/11, President Bush used the word “fear” five times. Nine days after the attacks, he laid down a strategy for the battle against terrorism with the slogan: “Freedom is at war with fear.” By naming fear as the reverse of freedom, the main enemy of democracy and the main weapon of terrorists, Bush set out on his war campaign against terrorism. Fear of attacks has lead to a state of constant anxiety: we are trying to give the threat a face, to locate the enemy. But the world is confronting a strange enemy, apparently close at hand, immediate and threatening, but also unidentifiable, phantom-like, with no land of its own. The psychology of fear has long played an important part in the collective sub-conscious of people during wartime. It has also been used as a potent tool by those in power. Currently fear seems to be a sufficient instrument not only for terrorists, but also for governments and political parties. In his lecture Philosopher Henk Oosterling will look at the relationship between fear and politics, analyze the current issue of “safety utopia,” and relate it to contemporary art practices. Artists Pavel Büchler and Kendall Geers will discuss the topic of fear in relation to their artistic practice and will present some new projects.

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 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.