Performative conference

17 March 2018

Propositions #4: Unpacking Aesthetics and the Far Right

Time: 10.3022.00 hrs
Locations: Centraal Museum, Utrecht and BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht
Reserve your day pass through Eventbrite.
View the full program here.

Propositions #4: Unpacking Aesthetics and the Far Right is part of BAK’s long-term artistic research series and convening platform Propositions for Non-Fascist Living (2017–2020) prompted by the surfacing of contemporary fascisms. This is the fourth performative conference within the series and brings together artists, theorists, and writers to seek ways of unpacking the current relations of art and fascist-curious aesthetics.

The political landscape in Europe and North America is peppered with fascisms whose nihilism bleeds vividly into everyday life. These are fascisms—post/neo/crypto or proto-fascisms—without a (seemingly) clearly articulated ideology. Their narratives may not cohere politically with each other, but they do cohere aesthetically: they align themselves with, or attach themselves to, objects, idioms, or tropes, and open a toxic conduit between antiestablishmentarianism and outright racism and misogyny. This brings up the questions: Are present-day fascisms aesthetic or emotional in structure, rather than fully-fledged political doctrines? How to describe the nexuses between art form and far-right ideologies that take shape under the aegis of neoliberal governance? Is it possible to draw parallels with the early twentieth-century artistic movements that became ambivalent laboratories for fascisms-yet-to-come?

With contributions by: art historian and critic Larne Abse Gogarty; artist Kader Attia; writer and art historian Angela Dimitrakaki and writer and curator iLiana Fokianaki; writer, curator, and musician Morgan Quaintance; writer and cultural theorist Ana Teixeira Pinto; art historian and researcher Harry Weeks; and art historian Giovanna Zapperi.


Centraal Museum, Utrecht

10.30–12.00: Preview of the exhibition Erich Wichman, Free radical with the Centraal Museum Director Bart Rutten and finissage of the exhibition The world by Pyke Koch, with a simple brunch. Please let us know if you are joining us for the brunch afterwards in the museum café of the Centraal Museum via this form.

BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht

12.00–12.30: Doors open, coffee and tea

12.30–12.45: Welcome and introduction by Maria Hlavajova

12.45–13.30: Lecture by Giovanna Zapperi

13.30–14.15: Lecture by Ana Teixeira Pinto

14.15–15.15: Lunch

15.15–16.00: Lecture by Morgan Quaintance (via Skype)

16.00–17.00: Discussion between Morgan Quaintance, Giovanna Zapperi, and Ana Teixeira Pinto, moderated by Harry Weeks

17.00–17.30: Coffee and tea

17.30–18.30: Keynote lecture by Larne Abse Gogarty

18.30–19.00: Didactic play read by Angela Dimitrakaki and iLiana Fokianaki

19.00–20.00: Dinner

20.00–20.30: Lecture-performance by Kader Attia

20.30–21.30: Plenary conversation moderated by Angela Dimitrakaki

21.30–22.00: Drinks

On the occasion of this performative conference, Centraal Museum, Utrecht opens its doors to the conference participants from 10.30 till 12.00 hrs for a simple brunch in the museum café and a preview of the exhibition Erich Wichman: Free radical (17 March–24 June 2018). The opening of this exhibition coincides with the closing weekend of The World of Pyke Koch (17 November 2017–18 March 2018), an exhibition of work by Koch who, like Wichman, was affiliated with Italian fascism during the interbellum era.

BAK’s exhibition Matthijs de Bruijne: Compromiso Político, also featuring works by Jeremy Deller, Piero Gilardi, and Mierle Laderman Ukeles (10 February–15 April 2018) is on view and open to the conference participants.

To attend the performative conference, please reserve your place through Eventbrite. BAK offers without-cost solidarity passes to enable the participation of those who would otherwise be unable to afford a pass. If you are able, you can sponsor a solidarity pass along with the purchase of your own.

The spoken language of the performative conference is English.

Propositions #4: Unpacking Aesthetics and the Far Right is a two-part performative conference convened by BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht in collaboration with La Colonie, Paris. The event was conceptualized by Ana Teixeira Pinto and Giovanna Zapperi, in collaboration with Angela Dimitrakaki and Harry Weeks who are co-editing a special issue on the subject for Third Text. The second part of the conference takes place at La Colonie on 9 May 2018.

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.

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