Performance

15 September 2018, 13.00-14.30

What Is the City but the People?

A collective self-portrait by the people of Utrecht that captures and celebrates the city

  • What Is the City but the People?, performance op Jaarbeursplein, Utrecht, 15 september 2018, BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht in samenwerking met Centraal Museum Utrecht en SPRING Performing Arts Festival, Utrecht, foto: Tom Janssen

Please join friends, families, neighbors, and fellow city dwellers for this live parade of life on the Jaarbeursplein in Utrecht on Saturday 15 September, 2018, from 13 hrs onward!

In What Is the City but the People?, around 150 people of Utrecht gather together to create a collective, dynamic self-portrait of the city. An unexpected and exciting medley of individuals and groups from across the city tell their stories as they walk the runway raised on the newly opened Jaarbeursplein. From an ice cream seller to a university worker, from a skateboarder to a bell ringer, from a refugee to a student, a drag queen, a rebel politician, an artist, and the mayor: the diverse characters present themselves both as individuals and as members of the city community. Together they uncover what really makes the city: not so much its spectacular architecture or sweeping historical events, but rather the people’s struggles and joys in their everyday lives. Through sharing these stories, and entwining them with the narratives of others, What Is the City but the People? makes a claim to the city as a collective public space.

The participating residents have responded to an open call, which was followed by interviews by script-writer Babah Tarawally as well as a photoshoot by photographer Marieke Wijntjes. During the runway event, these stories and images are presented on the large screens erected on either side of the runway. The runway presentation is accompanied by live music, composed for this occasion by the young Utrecht composer Joram Kroon, who is assisted by local musicians. The all-Utrecht creative team has worked closely with Richard Gregory, the director of the project’s premiere iteration at the Manchester International Festival in 2017.

What Is the City but the People? is created by the people of Utrecht and directed by Richard Gregory, from an idea by artist Jeremy Deller.

The Utrecht edition is organized by BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht in collaboration with Centraal Museum Utrecht and SPRING Performing Arts Festival, Utrecht. Further support is provided by Utrecht based organizations CU2030 Utrecht, DOX, and Utrecht Marketing – Cultural Sundays. The realization of this project has been made possible through financial contributions by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the City Council of Utrecht, the K.F. Hein Fund, Utrecht, Beatrix Theater, Utrecht, and Jaarbeurs, Utrecht.

Special thanks to Randstad, RTV Utrecht, The Sting, and Stranded FM, Utrecht.

Originally commissioned and produced by Manchester International Festival in July 2017.

In collaboration with

Made possible by

Suggestions from the archive

Exhibitionary

Screening

15 July 2021, 18.30-20.00

Fragments of Repair/Gathering VI: Invisible Bridges

A public program realized in the framework of the multi-part project Fragments of Repair

Taking place on Thursday 15 July 2021, the sixth gathering of Fragments of Repair/Gatherings, consists of a screening of artist Kader Attia’s Reason’s Oxymorons (2015) and a conversation between Kader Attia (Berlin) and Stefania Pandolfo (medical anthropologist, Berkeley, CA).

Screening

24 June 2021, 17.30-20.00

Fragments of Repair/Gathering V: The Object’s Interlacing

A public program realized in the framework of the multi-part project Fragments of Repair

Taking place on Thursday 24 June 2021, the fifth gathering of Fragments of Repair/Gatherings, consists of a screening of artist Kader Attia’s The Object’s Interlacing (2020), followed by a conversation between Souleymane Bachir Diagne (philosopher New York/Dakar) and Wayne Modest (material culture curator and researcher, Amsterdam/Rotterdam).

Education Program

21 June, 19.00–7 July, 21.00 2021

Course: Art as Politics

An Online Extension of BAK Public Studies

A new edition of the online course Art as Politics, taking place on the following dates: 21, 23, 28 and 30 June & 5 and 7 July 2021. The course, taught by BAK’s Maria Hlavajova, brings those involved and/or interested in art, theory, and social action into collective conversation.