Learning Place

Learning Place: Curating the Political

educational platform with MaHKU, Utrecht and MAR, KABK, The Hague

BAK, Utrecht (NL)

Learning Place (LP) is BAK’s key educational platform and a site of talent development. It is conceived as a series of learning, interactions, and gatherings parallel to the main research and program trajectory of BAK, so that the participants fully benefit from, and contribute to, primary research into the conceptual urgencies that drive BAK’s work; exchange directly with artists, scholars, and activists contributing to BAK projects; and gain hands-on experience in the day-to-day life of a theoretically-driven and politically motivated art organization. It is developed in dialogue with BAK’s fellows and with a variety of MA programs at art academies and universities in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and abroad.

Folded into the multifaceted series Future Vocabularies and its inaugural, yearlong vocabulary entry on survival, a 16-week comprehensive curriculum was realized under the title Survival: Curating the Political. The triad of survival—the political—curating formed the guiding thread of LP and structured the program into three clusters. Daylong weekly sessions in this semester explored artistic and philosophical approaches to the politics of life and negotiations around the conception of survival at the intersections of biology and biography. Morning sessions on art and theory were taught by Maria Hlavajova with various guests; afternoon practicum sessions (each time in clusters of three) were hosted by artists Aernout Mik and Manuel Beltrán, as well Elke Uitentuis and Savannah Koolen together with members of the refugee collective We Are Here Yoonis Osman Nuur and Thomas Philip Guya, among others. Participants engaged with the concerns of Future Vocabularies by carrying out collaborative research into new gestures of both power and resistance and organizing a series of changing, makeshift archive-exhibitions at BAK.

The LP Survival: Curating the Political was realized as part of the MA research curriculum at MaHKU, Utrecht and MAR, Royal Academy of Art (KABK), The Hague with the following participants: Sharelly Emanuelson, Pierfrancesco Gava, Anna Ioannidi, Annabel Kanaar, Yumemi Kobayashi, Quenton Miller, Sara Pape, Minsun Park, Uzine Park, Ika Putranto, Heekyung Ryu, Sissel Marie Tonn, Clara Turchi, Anne-Marie Twigge, Alejandro Vasquez, Audrey Wang, Yinan Wang, You-Na Wang, and Gayane Yerkanyan.

  • Part of Future Vocabularies long-term research and propositional trajectory rethinking art’s conceptual lexicon