August 26, 2019 - Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons - Het is of de stenen spreken (silence is a commons)
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August 26, 2019

Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons

GIF for Het is of de stenen spreken (silence is a commons). Design: David Bennewith, colophon.info, 2019. Images in order of appearance: Babi Badalov, Chez yu, 2015; Ansuya Blom, Ysabel's Table Dance, 1987; Tree at Casco Art Institute and character in the story by Ama Josephine Budge, 2019; Mire Lee, Made of only heart, 2019. 

Het is of de stenen spreken (silence is a commons)
Four solo shows
September 14–November 3, 2019

Festive opening: September 14, 2019, with artist presentations

Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons
Lange Nieuwstraat 7
3512 PA Utrecht
The Netherlands

casco.art
Instagram / Facebook / Twitter

Het is of de stenen spreken (silence is a commons), four solo shows by Babi Badalov, Ansuya Blom, Ama Josephine Budge, and Mire Lee  

If together we talk and separately we understand, what might we understand together if we listen to the stones speak? How do we unlearn to speak for the commons and listen to them instead? And how can we protect language commons that are of neither power nor capital?

The Autumn 2019 exhibition program at Casco Art Institute presents Het is of de stenen spreken (silence is a commons), featuring four solo shows of the distinguished artistic practices and languages by Babi Badalov, Ansuya Blom, Ama Josephine Budge, and Mire Lee. Each artist presents forms of communication that transgress the norms and habits shaped by power and capital-driven media.

Misunderstanding, incommunicability, and distressing language are some of the most frequently encountered obstacles in collaboration and sharing practices, even among affinity and coalition groups. These cracks and rough stones are the study of our Autumn exhibition program: the four artists offer insight into expressive ways to communicate when verging on failure to do so. Their works take up the possibilities and limitations of language, as a departure point or reconciliation, in performative and material ways. The result is an affective resource of new vocabularies, syntax, and stories that break the tensions around ideas of simple understanding. 

Babi Badalov offers us a jumble of words fetched and twisted across mother tongues drawn on second hand t-shirts, papers, or walls. “Immigration becomes yougration becomes hegration.” We can follow the words that crawl away from correctness to celebrate and harness mistakes as the source for new images, words, and meanings, while creating the heterogeneous cultural landscapes in which artists live and travel through. 

Ansuya Blom invites us to sense a dreamworld or a dark corner of the mind through her delicately rendered paintings, drawings, collages, sculpture, and films. Revealed vital organs in a series of paintings refer to the consequences of putting words to what you cannot describe yet what’s happening irresistibly on your “insides.” The partially concealed interior scenes of psychiatry clinics on collages draw a hazy line between confusion and clarity.

In her speculative fiction, Ama Josephine Budge pictures landscapes whereby enhanced, human-hybrid and often queer protagonists have adapted to the melting, polluted planet. War-torn and dry catastrophic sceneries are depicted in which inhabitants, like the flora and fauna, not only remain resilient but are pronounced with ecstatic feeling in their every movement and detail. Words decree that the only future possible is one of queer Black joy and multispecies justice. 

We see objects reluctantly moving in Mire Lee’s sculptural work. They look like human bodies or mobs, abandoned and struggling to move, and express their abject existence in spite of themselves. They counter the worlds of words, inviting them to face their hypocrisy: plastic tubes adhered to a small motor slap like the habitual eloquence of speech, slowly moving and getting stuck in the glistening wetness of glycerin. 

The Autumn 2019 exhibition program partners are Bak, basis voor actuele kunst, Le Guess Who?, Perdu, Stranded FM, Terra Critica, and De Voorkamer. Visit casco.art for more information about Het is of de stenen spreken (silence is a commons) and to find the program of related events for this exhibition season. 

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