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[Nettime-nl] 3 November: Cultural Activism Today, The Art of Over-Identi
BAVO on Mon, 29 Oct 2007 16:25:27 +0100 (CET)

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[Nettime-nl] 3 November: Cultural Activism Today, The Art of Over-Identification (Modified by Geert Lovink)

Debate and booklaunch: Cultural Activism Today, The Art of Over-Identification
Witte de With, center for contemporary art, Rotterdam
3 November 2007, 15:00
On the 3th of November, a debate will take place at Witte de With, Rotterdam, on BAVO’s recent book, published by episode publishers, Cultural Activism Today, The Art of Over-Identification and the possibility and desirability of alternatives to critical and utopian artistic strategies.
Participants are: Maria Hlavajova, Jeroen Boomgaard, Jonas Staal and Wim Nijenhuis.
What would happen if art stops with relentlessly criticizing the existing state of affairs, or with passionately producing alternative visions and utopias for today’s late capitalist society? What if art would, on the contrary, fully identify with and affirm the prevailing norms, values, practices, etc., even adding some oil to the fire? The latter would, in other words, demand of artists to no longer automatically assume the role of the ‘good guys’, the eternal idealists, dreamers, etc., who always try to make the best out of the current situation, pushing the system to be something other and better than it is. It would, inversely, ask of them to stop protecting society from what it wants and turn it into the worst version of itself, so as to confront it with its own unsustainability and undesirability.
This is the central tenet of the book Cultural Activism Today. the Art of Over-Identification, edited by the theoretical collective BAVO and published by episode publishers. The volume is a provocative intervention in current debates within the field of art about strategies of resistance, paradoxically summoning artists to stop resisting. In general, it wants to question the effectiveness of critical and utopian artistic strategies in offering resistance to the current state of affairs, instead pleading for an art of over-identification. The book contains essays by Boris Groys, Alexei Monroe, Dieter Lesage and Benda Hofmeyr and refers to works of artists such as Santiago Sierra, Christoph Schlingensief, Jens Haaning, Irwin, Laibach, Martijn Engelbregt, AVL and others.
15:00 Welcome and introductory statement – BAVO
15:25 Statements by the panel – Maria Hlavajova, Jeroen Boomgaard, Jonas Staal and Wim Nijenhuis
15:45 Discussion
16:30 Closing comments
After the debate there is a drink as well as the screening of Paul Poet’s documentary Ausländer Raus. Schlingensief’s container (Monitorpop Entertainment) on Christoph Schlingensief 2000 action ‘Bitte liebt Österreich’.
Location: Witte de With, center for contemporary art, Witte de Withstraat 50, Rotterdam
Language: English
Participation is free
- Maria Hlavajova is director of the Utrecht Centre for Contemporary Art (BAK) and co-curator of the Dutch programme for the 52nd Venice Biennale (www.bak-utrecht.nl).
- Jeroen Boomgaard is an art historian at the University of Amsterdam and founder of the ‘Lectoraat kunst in de publieke ruimte’ (www.lkpr.nl).
- Jonas Staal is an artist working on political issues through interventions in the public sphere, most recently with his ‘De Geert Wilders werken’ (www.jonasstaal.nl).
- Wim Nijenhuis is a theoretician mainly working in the field of urbanism, art and media; he recently participated in a public art project in Vlaardingen (www.home.hccnet.nl/j.w.nijenhuis).
Cultural Activism Today, The Art of Over-Identification
BAVO (editors)
Graphic design: Niels Schrader, Amsterdam
Paperback | English| 120 pages| 12 x 20 cm | ISBN 978-90-5973-061-8 | € 21.50
For more information: www.episode-publishers.nl

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