April 24, 2018 - BAK, basis voor actuele kunst - First Person Plural
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April 24, 2018

BAK, basis voor actuele kunst

Doug Ashford, Bunker 2, 2017. Courtesy of the artist and Wilfried Lentz Rotterdam.

First Person Plural
Empathy, Intimacy, Irony, and Anger
May 12–July 22, 2018

Propositions #5: First Person Plural: May 19,
Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brussels
Propositions #6: The Temporary Institute for the Contemporary: June 30

BAK, basis voor actuele kunst
Pauwstraat 13a
3512 TG Utrecht
the Netherlands

T +31 30 231 6125
info@bakonline.org

www.bakonline.org
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Sepake Angiama, Doug Ashford, Sven Augustijnen, Tala Madani, Liz Magic Laser, Eva and Franco Mattes, Otobong Nkanga, and Sarah Vanhee

At BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht we are proud to announce the group exhibition First Person Plural: Empathy, Intimacy, Irony, and Anger. The exhibition inquires into the emotional infrastructures of the present. What roles do emotions and affects play in forming collectivities and political belonging? What kinds of “we’s” do empathy, intimacy, irony, and anger assemble, and how do they determine which “first person plurals” someone is part of? And where does the affective power of art stand in these processes?

The exhibition considers these questions along contemporary political, economic, technological, and social challenges—including the alarming surfacing of fascisms in public life. Pondering the emotional as an organizing force across political spectrums, emotions are understood not as individual mental states but as collective material and affective practices that are both shaped by and shape social life. The works in the exhibition challenge the familiar, divisive narratives of a “we,” such as the nation and the so-called “refugee crisis,” and allude to emotions as entry points for manipulation.

First Person Plural: Empathy, Intimacy, Irony, and Anger features works by artists Doug Ashford, Sven Augustijnen, Tala Madani, Liz Magic Laser, Eva and Franco Mattes, Otobong Nkanga, and Sarah Vanhee, as well as a library space conceived by 2017/2018 BAK Fellow Sepake Angiama. Titled We Summon Here All Beings Present, Past, and Future, this space features a series of public workshops.

The opening of the exhibition takes place on Saturday, May 12 from 5–9pm, with a lecture and Q&A with Doug Ashford, as well as a screening of Sarah Vanhee's The Making of Justice (2017). Artists Sepake Angiama, Sven Augustijnen, and Otobong Nkanga will be present. The opening is free of charge.

Performative conferences
The exhibition First Person Plural: Empathy, Intimacy, Irony, and Anger also provides a framework for two performative conferences within BAK’s long-term series Propositions for Non-Fascist Living (2017–2020):

Propositions #5: First Person Plural takes place on May 19, 2018 as part of Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels, and is dedicated to the many legacies of 1968 as they continue 50 years later. It features contributions by 2017/2018 BAK Fellows Sepake Angiama, Luigi Coppola, Quinsy Gario, Ola Hassanain, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, and Otobong Nkanga, as well as Charl Landvreugd and Marinella Senatore, among others.

Propositions #6: The Temporary Institute for the Contemporary, organized at BAK on June 30, 2018, enacts a temporary “institute of the contemporary” as the culmination of the first year of BAK’s Fellowship Program. 2017/2018 BAK Fellows Sepake Angiama, Isshaq Al-Barbary and Diego Segatto (Campus in Camps), Matthijs de Bruijne, Luigi Coppola, Quinsy Gario, Ola Hassanain, Otobong Nkanga, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, and Pelin Tan present their respective research itineraries as well as their “collective dictionary” project.

The exhibition First Person Plural: Empathy, Intimacy, Irony, and Anger is curated by BAK Curator Matteo Lucchetti and conceptualized by the BAK artistic team as part of the series Propositions for Non-Fascist Living.

The realization of this project has been made possible through financial contributions by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the City Council, Utrecht.

BAK’s main partner in the field of education and research is HKU University of the Arts Utrecht.

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