Applications for the BAK Summer School: Art in a Time of Interregnum, 17–21 July 2017, are being accepted until 15 June 2017. This collaborative and intensive learning week is for artists, curators, art theorists, academics, MA/MFA level or higher students, and different professionals to collectively think through, learn about, and imagine critical, politically-informed artistic practices that work to grasp and influence our dramatically changing times.
An advanced, interdisciplinary course, this summer school begins from the understanding that ours is a time of interregnum—a time of crisis and ongoing transition. Much in the sense of political thinker Antonio Gramsci’s understanding of crisis, these times are rife with a “great variety of morbid symptoms” as ruling structures prove, in their grasping at “coercive force,” to no longer be sustainable; “the old is dying and the new cannot be born.” As social, geopolitical, economic, and technological structures rapidly change, along with the unraveling legacies of western modernity, and with ongoing recompositions of class, global migration, and the endurability of the planet, so transform 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. How, then, does art relate to a contemporary as such? How to think art under such circumstances, and how to think about the contemporary with and through art in order to build space for envisioning ways of being together otherwise?
Concepts of the precariat, the challenges of contemporary fascisms, contemporary constructions of “we,” the posthuman, the Anthropocene, etc. will be discussed with a thematic inquiry into forms of artistic expression relevant to contemporary destabilizations.
In order to address these questions, the Summer School draws upon BAK research conducted within two interrelated projects, FORMER WEST (2008–2016) and Future Vocabularies (2013–ongoing). The former develops 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. The latter attempts to act out concrete propositions that explore shifts in the existing conceptual vocabularies within artistic, intellectual, and activist practices. Artists, curators, activists, and theorists will convene workshops, presentations, study groups, screenings, and lectures.
The summer school takes place from 17–21 July 2017 at BAK in Utrecht, Netherlands. Applications including a letter of motivation, CV, and reference letter should be submitted via the Utrecht Summer School website by 15 June 2017. The fee for the course and materials, to be paid upon acceptance, is €450. Accommodation by the Utrecht Summer School is an additional €200, for which you can sign up during your application process. Fees exclude meals and travel.
The summer school is conceptualized by Maria Hlavajova, artistic director at BAK. Contributors include curator and activist Amal Aalhag (The Side Room; Research Center for Material Culture, Amsterdam), writer and teacher Dr. Michiel Bot (Tilburg and Amsterdam), educationist Dr. Ayesha Ghanchi (London and Amsterdam), artist Maria Guggenbichler (Amsterdam), artist Nicoline van Harskamp (Amsterdam), curator Matteo Lucchetti (BAK, Utrecht), activist and organizer Yoonis Osman Nuur (refugee collective We Are Here, Amsterdam), and director and curator Josien Pieterse (Framer Framed, Amsterdam).
This summer school is organized in partnership with Utrecht Graduate School of Visual Art and Design (MaHKU) and Utrecht Summer School.