The idea of a Caucus derives from a term from a Native American practice, a very pragmatic form of democracy where the community comes together to discuss the future. The Van Abbemuseum has chosen this concept as inspiration for the second stage of Be[com]ing Dutch because it indicates that the space of the museum is an active space for shared decision-making.
The Public Programme of Eindhoven Caucus consists of a series of lectures an debates on weekends with the most inspiring philosophers, sociologists, writers and artists throughout the world including: Yael Bartana, Abdelkader Benali, Homi Bhabha, Roger Buergel, Sudeep Dasgupta, Catherine David, Igor Dobricic, Galit Eilat, Kodwo Eshun, Paul Gilroy, Boris Groys, Nezha Haffou, Vasif Kortun, Erden Kosova, Agung Kurniawan, Dieter Lesage, Kobena Mercer, Chantal Mouffe, Tone O. Neilsen, Ahmet Ögüt, Anjalika Sagar, Paul Scheffer, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Artur Zmijewski.
Live stream, blog and more
Limited space is still available for the free public programme during the weekends. Anyone who would like to join can do so, free of charge, via www.becomingdutch.com . For people unable to join, the Van Abbemuseum has provided a live stream during the weekend programme, as well as an on demand video archive in the weeks after, both available on the www.becomingdutch.nl website. The Van Abbemuseum has also invited 10 student journalists from the Hogeschool Utrecht to write a blog on all the events during the Caucus. Their critical reviews can be followed on www.becomingdutch.vanabbe.nl
During the Caucus, the forty artist-participants that gathered in Eindhoven from all over the world attend and develop a programme of lectures, participate in workshops and artists presentations, present their own work, exchange ideas and develop a creative collective and individual creative production at the Van Abbemuseum.
A further series of talks is also organised by:
• National (Re)presentation by Witte de With — www.wdw.nl
• Citizens and Subjects by BAK – basis voor actuele kunst — www.citizensandsubjects.nl
Be[com]ing Dutch is a two-year project developed both inside and outside the Van Abbemuseum, which consists of debates, reading groups, artists projects, exhibitions, artists in residence, and other forms of collective participation and production. Questions about cultural identity and normative ‘national’ values are becoming more and more an issue in political and cultural debate. Be[com]ing Dutch wonders whether art can provide alternative ways of contemplating contemporary society. Be[com]ing Dutch aims to examine our ideas concerning cultural identity and to investigate current processes of inclusion and exclusion.
In 2006 the Van Abbemuseum was announced as winner of the Development Prize for Cultural Diversity by the Mondriaan Foundation for their plan Be[com]ing Dutch. With support of the Culture Programme of the European Union and of Stichting Doen.