ACTing in Eindhoven
Art Cooperation Transmission Democ[k]racy
from 16 May to 29 June 2013
The A.C.T. Democ[k]racy project goes on. After the first phase in Rennes this winter, it settled in Eindhoven in the same way: one exhibition, one residency, one seminar.
Exhibition – Occupy UBB
May 25th – June 29th 2013, Onomatopee – Eindhoven
The Altart foundation, co-organisaing structure of the A.C.T. project, invited the students from the Occupy UBB (Universitatea Babeş-Bolyai, Cluj-Napoca) to report on their protest movement.
“Some exhibits do bear inherent poetry…. but this does not mean you should start contemplating. You are not here for this. You are more than a passive recipient of hegemonic knowledge produced by our current domination. You are a maker of knowledge, a cultural contributor just as much as anybody. And this is a transformative exhibition. So start making, unmaking and remaking the exhibition. Start this now.
We are hereby exhibiting our stories and objects related to the two week Occupy of the Babeș-Bolyai University of Cluj, Romania (26.03-09.04 2013). The stories are told by us – the community that made the Occupy happen – and are focusing on the collective process of organizing public debates, workshops, formulating claims and negotiating. Alongside with our stories we are exhibiting objects we used during the Occupy.
The opening set of exhibited objects serve only as your gateways to enter the story and be part of the Cluj Occupy. They are connectivity agents. Think about how these objects were extracted from their original habitat and lost some of their “mojo” in the process of exhibiting them here. This is why we need you to re-contextualize, or even better, to trans-contextualize them. Think that objects become productive only when they are being used, given, circulated. So feel free to rearrange objects. Take them home. Use them. Bring them back or don’t. Bring in other objects. And comment on the objects and stories using the available post-its, or any other way you feel like. No opinion is insignificant, no narrative too small.
Just as the exhibited stories reveal power relations, dependencies and solidarities among the Occupiers and beyond, the way you use this exhibition (both stories and objects) should not be mere articulations of pre-coded meanings but hybrid forms of materiality and sociality. Think about how your actions relate you to the Occupy community. This way this exhibition becomes yours and an exhibition about you, too.
After a month we will pack whatever this exhibition has transformed into and exhibit it again in Cluj. In this mediation process the exhibition can develop a contact surface between Eidhoven and Cluj, where participation is becoming social technology and is producing – in the framework of our shared practice of the everyday – common knowledge and common history.”
István Szakáts, delegate curator
Seminar – Poetry and Freedom
May 23rd 2013, Auditorium of the van Abbemuseum – Eindhoven
Writers, thinkers and artists shared their opinions on the poetry and politics of the language games involved in the European context. A film and a live performance enriched the debates.
Samuel Vriezen, Lenin’s desire an poetry
The poet and critic Samuel Vriezen is currently searching for models for love-longing, which would be able to help updating Leninist analyses to the present time, where class differences don’t seem to differ so much anymore. For this second A.C.T. seminar, Samuel Vriezen reads Lenins’ What to do? along love poetry of the troubadours and Dutch poets, from Herman Gorter to Gertrude Starink.
Joop Hazenberg, Language and the European Union a crisis of legitimacy and governance
In his contribution “EU Watcher” Joop Hazenberg looked at one aspect of this crisis: language. Europe’s different languages complicate the dialogue and mutual understanding. This goes far beyond the 22 official languages of the European Union. There is also the technical, bureaucratic language used by the Commission and the European Parliament, which hardly gets through to the ’citizens’. Furthermore there are the languages of European and national politics, which often differ from each other. And finally there’s a revival of local languages.
Geert van Mil, Doris Denekamp, Ana-Maria Murg, Occupy, multiple experiences
Is Occupy poetic? Geert van Mil et Doris Denekamp de artists@occupy Amsterdam discussed with István Szakáts, President of the Altart foundation and delegate curator of the Occupy UBB exhibition and Ana-Maira Murg, one of the students of the Universitatea Babeş-Bolyai and co-curator. The debates focused on the political symbolic and poetic aspects of the Occupy movements that spread, after the Indignados, Occupy Wall Street and the Arab spring. The specificity of the artist-citizen’s role in public space was particularly at stake during these exchanges of experiences.
Bogdan Iacob, Artist, Freedom, revolution
Bogdan Iacob, Art historian and tutor at the University of Art and Design of Cluj lectured Artist, freedom, revolution. Analysing policital and economic situations, and the stand of certain artists in those historical contexts, he analysed the ways artistic creations can affect the spheres of identity and communities. Dr. Joost de Bloois, lecturer at the University of Amsterdam, department of Literary and Cultural Studies, responded to this lecture in order and they entered further in a conversation on the subject.
Arte Util , a project initiated by Tania Bruguera
Nick Aikens, guest curator at the van Abemuseum of Eindhoven presented the Arte Util project, initiated by the artist Tania Bruguera. This project suggests to consider art as a device or a tool. Arte Util imagines, creates and implements project the outcomes of which are socially beneficial.
Sarah van Lamsweerde, 80 words , a concept and performance by Sarah van Lamsweerde; a Veem Theatre production.
A project about language and what happens when there are only 80 words to speak it. Are words still a reliable currency, now that freedom of speech suffers from heavy inflation? Can (self)censorship be a good thing? In this performance, researcher Sarah va Lamsweerde guides the spectator through a slideshow. The latter is introduced to her singular subject, words and gestures are stripped to the bone; the imagination is encouraged to combine phantom phrases with after-images, leaving no choice but to make highly subjective conclusions.
Nicoline van Harskamp, Any other business , a film by Nicoline van Harskamp
Any other business is a film constituted of ten scripted debates, staged and performed by actors, in front of an audience that was invited to take part. From a private archive of recorded public debates, van Harskamp selected ten recordings that each have a critical moment or “plot” in them. She compiled the script for the staging of Any other business. So, in three different rooms of a convention centre, thirty-five actors performed ten meetings over the course of six hours.
Over the course of the afternoon, an intriguing narrative developed, as the speakers increasingly struggled to suppress their urge to act rather than talk. The physical forces and desires at play in regular political debates and the subtly present impossibility of limiting politics to a rational process of verbal interaction were highlightened.
During the seminar, 3 scenes of Any other business were shown: New business governments, Uniformity in public conduct and property and Witch hunt.
Residency – The EESAB and the UAD at Onomatopee
May 16th – 26th 2013, Onomatopee – Eindhoven
Exhibition of the results: May 26th – June 7th 2013
During 10 days, students and professors from the EESAB-site de Rennes and the University of Art and Design of Cluj worked on the notion of cultural identity in Europe and confronted their practices the Dutch and international contexts.
The EESAB–site de Rennes at Onomatopee
Students and teachers from the Art and Communication sections of the EESAB-site de Rennes initiated their reflections on the relationship between art and democracy in the framework of an A.C.T. workshop. It gathered a dozen students and started after the residency first A.C.T. residency: the UAD at the EESAB–site de Rennes, in November 2012. This workshop was guided by three professors: Olivier Lebrun (Graphic design), Dominique Abensour (independent curator, critic, history and theory of Art) and George Dupin (photography). An exhibition, A.C.T.Documents at the EESAB-site de Rennes, enabled the students to show their work.
Axel Benassis, Lionel Melin and Paloma Moin went in residency to Onomatopee, led by Olivier Lebrun. The students chose to work around the notions of stratum. The project is inspired by the tear-off calendar. It consists of a diary of the students’ residency in Eindhoven and, coming in contrast, a selection of the world’s news concerning art and democracy during the workshop. It contains also pictures of the students’ wanderings through the city along with accumulated knowledge (readings, parts of discussions…) and various written elements coming from the entire A.C.T. residency workgroup at Onomatopee.
The UAD at Onomatopee
The visit at the Den Bosch St. Joost Art School was the source of inspiration for Aliz Patcas and George Minhea’s project: Your story about my story. The UAD Industrial Design student and her teacher observed and made pictures of the students’ individual workspaces: images, photographs, and other objects that inspire them. For the exhibition in Onomatopee, they created posters that question the way a studio represents the artist. What does the workspace tell you about the artist? If you know the artist, can you guess what the workspace looks like?
Discovering the teaching in a Dutch art school and the local art scene The residency constituted a great opportunity for the visiting teachers and students to discover the school, education and the way of teaching in the context of in art school in The Netherlands, via the visits of the Art School Kunstakademie St. Joost (AKV ‘s Hertogenbosch) and the Design Academy Eindhoven, and the exchanges with the students and teachers of these schools. The visiting students were hosted by local students and young artists, which contributed to their discovery of the local artistic context from the inside. Two artists carried out workshops: Björn Andreassen, A flower booth on the high street and Jozua Zaagman. Situationist mapping. Björn Andreassen was in charge of the conception of a cinema space with a bar. The workshop was implemented in reference to a former project of the EESAB students in Rennes that was finally not achieved: the organization of a space contrasting with the classical boardroom hypocritically faking that everyone has the same status: a modular space, a place where you can choose your own spot, where anything could be a table or a chair. They sketched the place and put all their energy to make it real. Jozua Zaagman’s Situationnaist mapping led the students to walk through Eindhoven following a straight line that was previously drawn on a topographic map, without the street names. They had to walk, alone, for an hour departing from Onomatopee and stand where we ended up arriving for 15 min and then come back where they left: a good way to get people in touch with the city.