Art and Practice in the Otherwise (organized by BAK and HKU University of the Arts Utrecht) brings together those involved in arts, academia, and activisms to collectively think through, learn about, and imagine critical, politically-informed artistic practices that grasp and influence our dramatically changing times. Workshops, presentations, study groups, texts, screenings, and lectures focus on alternative and collective artistic practices, contemporary constructions of “we,” institutional structuring, looming and present fascisms, and art as a space for envisioning and actualizing ways of being together otherwise.
Social, environmental, geopolitical, economic, and technological structures are rapidly rearranging. Ideas, practices, and meanings of resistance, coming together, identity, activist and artistic practice, and collectivity and closeness—as well as the notions of artistic production, the (art) institution, and the public—are transforming. The BAK Summer School: Art and Practice in the Otherwise brings together those involved in arts, academia, and activisms to collectively think through, generate, and invigorate critical, politically-informed artistic practices that work to grasp and influence our dramatically changing times. This course begins from the understanding that art has the radical potential to enable the otherwise, meaning practices, spaces, imaginaries, centerings, and politico-aesthetic experiments at odds with the socio-political orders of worth and power that things like globalized imperialisms and rising fascisms have so violently gotten recognized as the status quo.
Through case studies, storytelling, theory, presentations, discussions, workshops, study groups, and exercises, the BAK Summer School: Art and Practice in the Otherwise asks about and speaks to art as a space in which radical (re)workings can flourish. Concepts of alternative and collective practice, contemporary constructions of “we,” institutional structuring, potentials of performative collectivity, looming and present fascisms, etc. will be discussed so as to imagine what shapes art as otherwise may take, what is needed for such endeavors, and how to think about the contemporary with and through art in order to build these visions and practices.
In order to address these subjects, the BAK Summer School: Art and Practice in the Otherwise turns to art practice, theory, and institutions that work at these ontological and material arrangements. Artists, curators, activists, and theorists will convene workshops, presentations, study groups, screenings, and lectures. We will also draw upon BAK research, including our current four-year trajectory Propositions for Non-Fascist Living; our connected Fellowship Program, which hosts 10 exemplary interdisciplinary fellows each year; FORMER WEST (2008–2016), which developed a critical understanding of the legacies of 1989’s radical resistance to power in order to reevaluate the global present and speculate about global futures; and Future Vocabularies (2013–2016), which attempted to act out concrete propositions that explore shifts in the existing conceptual vocabularies within artistic, intellectual, and activist practices.
This Summer School is organized by Maria Hlavajova, Artistic Director, and Whitney Stark, Curator of Discourse and Publications at BAK. Contributors include 2017/2018 BAK Fellow, researcher, and writer Isshaq Al-Barbary; 2017/2018 BAK Fellow and artist Matthijs de Bruijne and artist and researcher Cecilia Vallejos; curator and educator Clare Butcher; curator and writer Chandra Frank; artist and 2017/2018 BAK Fellow Ola Hassanain; cultural historian and worker Nancy Jouwe; curator Matteo Lucchetti; and others.
This is a discourse-driven course organized by BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht in collaboration with HKU University of the Arts Utrecht.