September 1, 2014 - La Criée Centre for Contemporary Art - Release of HOW TO ACT?
September 1, 2014

Release of HOW TO ACT?


Contemporary art in its ability to think, invent and represent the democratic changes of Europe in an era of globalisation. This is a joint laboratory for inventive and collaborative democratic building.

Released via Onomatopee project space and publisher, Eindhoven (NL)
Edited by La Criée Centre for Contemporary Art, Rennes (FR)

September 2014, English
160 x 230 mm, 504 PP, 397 b&w and color, softcover
Design by Pierre Martin Vielcazat

HOW TO ACT? is a dynamic extension of the A.C.T. Democ[k]racy project. 
Via a cross-European exchange of artworks, artists, researchers and students, Art Cooperation Transmission (A.C.T.) Democ[k]racy promotes contemporary art in its ability to think, invent and represent the democratic changes of Europe in an era of globalisation. It is a joint laboratory and a factory for inventive and collaborative democratic building.

In France, Romania, Serbia and The Netherlands, nine partner institutions organised a cross-fertilisation trhough students’ and artists’ residencies, exhibitions and seminars. Those engaging explored fields of thought and action related to art and democracy with a particular focus on education, poetics, urbanism and freedom. They experienced the unity and the heterogeneity of  “Europe”; they acquired (and lost) some certainties about democracy, art, European identity and relations. The project gathered multifocal contributions by artists, philosophers, sociologists, poets, architects, urbanists, writers, art critics, historians, etc. that they wished to share. 

HOW TO ACT? post-produces this experience: building upon the exhibitions, informing in the spin-off of the conferences and fostering exchange through the dynamics of the residences. The result is a set of answers and an impetus to act. ACTors’ testimonies, critical and poetic texts, political cartoons, photography and more provide a retrospective/prospective reading of all activities that took concrete form during the two years of the project. They open up a world of possibilities for artistic and civil acts.

Contributors: Dominique Abensour, Maziar Afrassiabi, Bearboz, Julien Berthier, Matthijs Bosman, Joost de Bloois, Paul de Bruyne, Sylvaine Bulle, George Dupin, Larys Frogier, Christophe Hanna, Joop Hazenberg, Bogdan Iacob, Ivana Ivković,  Charlie Jeffery, Frank Keizer, Sarah van Lamsweerde, Paul de Lanzac, Fancois Lombarts, Freek Lomme, Aleksandar Maćašev, Ciprian Mureşan, Tanja Ostojić, Dan Perjovschi, Darinka Pop Mitić, Mara Ratiu, Tomas Schats, Dubravka Sekulić, Anca Simionca, Biljana Srbljanović, Marko Stamenković, István Szakáts, Raša Todosijević, Samuel Vriezen, Emmanuel Wallon, Jozua Zaagman, Joëlle Zask, etc.

The A.C.T. Democ[k]racy agenda 
Because the withdrawal into separatist identities in many European countries is an alarming symptom of a crisis of democracy within Europe;
because Europe is now reaching the limits of an economic model that is resulting in brutal social fragmentation and deepening inequalities among individuals and countries;
because the conditions required for the exercise of democracy are now being suffocated by obsolescent administrative, legislative and communicative structures;
because the critical, educational and creative dimensions of art are fundamental conditions to the exercise of democracy;
because in an era of globalisation, we believe that interrelation between the commonplace and the singular should cultivate difference, discontinuity and contradiction as the basis of our representations of reality,
Faced with the separatistism of the various European identities, we believe that the ongoing progress of European democracies in the era of globalisation depends on our ability to cultivate a continuous, inter-penetrable, porous dynamic with respect to otherness amongst neighbours. In the face of critical, educational and creative challenges, we believe that art has the capacity to bring historic, cultural and social elements into relationship with each other in order to generate unpredictable representations, unexpected encounters and innovative creations. Amid an over-administrated and decreasingly inventive culture, we believe that the vitality of contemporary creativity involves the constant cultivation of a dynamic that encompasses tension, transformation and the invention of cultural and artistic projects.

Through our discussions and the action we took, we made our small and bottom-up contribution to the building of the Europe of democracies to which we are firmly committed. In practical terms we offered the chance—locally, multi-nationally and internationally—to discover and connect artists and artworks. We offered artists, students and researchers the chance to address new contexts and reflect together on the meaning of art and democracy. Our response to the retreat into identity was simple: the discovery of Others and their art, ideas and ways of working. We experienced the feeling of belonging to Europe in all its diversity and contradiction, driven by a conscious, necessary sense of shared difference. In this way we came up with a constructive “multifocalism,” at once political and poetic, utopian and critical, pragmatic and fanciful. 
–Sophie Kaplan, Director, La Criée centre for contemporary art

The A.C.T. project partners
La Criée Centre for Contemporary Art, Rennes, France
AltArt Foundation, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Cultural Centre of Belgrade, Serbia
Onomatopee project-space, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
École européenne supérieure d’art de Bretagne, Rennes, France
University of Art and Design, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Mains d’Œuvres, Saint-Ouen, France
AKV St. Joost, ‘s-Hertogenbosch/Breda, The Netherlands
Fabrica de Pensule, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

With the support of the Culture programme of the European Union.

Release of HOW TO ACT?, edited by La Criée Centre for Contemporary Art
La Criée Centre for Contemporary Art
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