March 26, 2015 - BAK - New World Academy exhibition and conference at Centraal Museum, Utrecht
March 26, 2015

New World Academy exhibition and conference at Centraal Museum, Utrecht

Jonas Staal, Anatomy of a Revolution—Rojava, 2015. Classroom for education of the People’s Defense Units (YPG), Rojava, Western Kurdistan (Syria).

New World Academy
Initiated by Jonas Staal in collaboration with BAK, basis voor actuele kunst
11 April–21 June 2015

Opening: 10 April, 16h
Conference: 10 April, 17.30–19h

Centraal Museum
Nicolaaskerkhof 10
3512 XC Utrecht
The Netherlands

www.bakonline.org
www.newworldsummit.eu
www.centraalmuseum.nl

BAK, basis voor actuele kunst and Centraal Museum, Utrecht proudly present New World Academy, an exhibition that brings together artworks, documents, and propositions from five sessions of the eponymous learning platform, realized between 2013 and 2015. Interwoven into the exhibition are works selected by artist Jonas Staal from the collection of Centraal Museum. The exhibition presents works by Artist Association of Azawad; Moussa Ag Assarid; Concerned Artists of the Philippines; Constant; Dilar Dirik; Marlene Dumas; Michail Grobman; Hans Haacke; Manette van Ingenegeren; Lisa Ito; Crisanto de Leon; Alexander Nieuwenhuis; Yoonis Osman Nuur; Dirk Poot; Mazou Ibrahim Touré; Jan Toorop; Charley Toorop; UgatLahi Artist Collective; We Are Here; and Erich Wichmann. The exhibition display is realized in collaboration with Remco van Bladel and Paul Kuipers (Event Architectuur).

New World Academy is an educational platform established in 2013 by artist Jonas Staal in collaboration with BAK. It hosts representatives of stateless political organizations to explore, together with artists and students, the role of art at the heart of political struggle. Through exhibitions at BAK, intensive three-day seminars, and public conferences, each session of New World Academy brings together a diverse group of artists, art and philosophy students, writers, theorists, journalists, and human rights activists. Together, they discuss the meaning of statelessness and the role that art can assume in representing repressed histories, languages, and symbols, providing thus a possible alternative to the state. To date, five sessions of New World Academy have been organized in collaboration with the National Democratic Movement of the Philippines, the refugee collective We Are Here, the international Pirate Parties, the National Liberation Movement of Azawad, and the Kurdish Women’s Movement. Each session is accompanied by a reader with key texts on art and culture as they pertain to the respective organizations.

The opening of the New World Academy exhibition at Centraal Museum on 10 April is accompanied by a conference during which lecturers and participants from New World Academy present new cultural and political initiatives that have emerged from the different sessions. The conference includes contributions by Manuel Beltrán (Alternative Learning Tank); Sjim Hendrix (New World Academy); Maria Hlavajova (BAK, Utrecht); Bushra Hussein (We Are Here); Emine Igdi (PhD researcher on the Kurdish conflict); Maryama Omar Abdi (We Are Here); Jun Saturay (Linangan Art and Culture Network); Jonas Staal (New World Summit and New World Academy); and Elke Uitentuis and Savannah Koolen (We Are Here to Support). It is followed by a performance of the theater play Labyrinth by the We Are Here Cooperative of refugees and artists, developed in collaboration with Nicolas Stemann and Frascati Theater, Amsterdam.

The project is realized within the context of BAK’s long-term research project Future Vocabularies (2014–16) and its collaborative parallel program, Future Collections (2014–15), through which BAK and Centraal Museum seek to connect the discursive and research-oriented projects developed in the context of Future Vocabularies to museum exhibitions and collections. Following the exhibition of New World Academy, Centraal Museum acquires the videos of lectures and key cultural documents that were used in the study sessions at New World Academy. This enriches the collection not only with an artwork in the traditional sense, but with a new, developing institution founded by an artist in collaboration with an art institution, having developed its own archive of documents rooted equally in histories of art and political struggle. The full proceeds are used to make the fifth session of New World Academy possible.

New World Academy functions as a department of the New World Summit, an artistic and political organization dedicated to developing alternative parliaments for stateless organizations banned from democracy.

The activities of BAK, basis voor actuele kunst have been made possible by financial support from the City Council of Utrecht and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands. The project Future Collections (2014–15) has been made possible by the DOEN Foundation, Amsterdam and the Mondriaan Fund, Amsterdam.

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