Two key Utrecht-based art institutions, BAK and Centraal Museum explore in the course of 2014–2016, various collaborative possibilities and contribute to rethinking the mission of the art institution in today’s rapidly changing global condition.
The collaboration comprises a parallel and mutually entwined series titled Future Vocabularies—Future Collections. While Future Vocabularies (2014–2016) is a discourse-driven research, learning, exhibition, and publication series aimed at rethinking our conceptual vernaculars in face of changing social, economic, and political contexts today, Future Collections examines various modes of embedding such present-day, future-oriented discourse into the key activity of the museum: that of art collecting.
Future Vocabularies—Future Collections departs from an acknowledgment of the present-day global condition, undergirded by the culture of networks (social, digital, religious, and other) and the proliferation of resistance forms and collective initiatives. Observing new politics and alliances in the streets and collective mobilizations across the world, the program asks how artistic, intellectual, and activist practices might help to build an understanding of the changes this new reality brings for the notions of “audience” and the “public.” Future Vocabularies—Future Collections reflects on the consequences these changes bear on the work of a middle-sized discursive art institution and the museum. Rather than taking the research of “future vocabularies” as a thematic exercise on issues of “survival,” “the posthuman,” or “degrowth,” the program mobilizes it as a method of acting in the world today. Accordingly, the two institutions seek ways of mutualizing their respective resources of space, time, competencies, knowledges, finances, and other in order to establish a model of sustainable cooperation with these newly evolving “future publics.”
The collaboration between BAK and Centraal Museum has been made possible by the DOEN Foundation, Amsterdam.