May 31, 2014 - Bergen Assembly - Artistic directors for second edition announced
May 31, 2014

Artistic directors for second edition announced

Photo: Christian Strand Bergheim.

Bergen Assembly 2016

Bergen Assembly is pleased to announce the new artistic directors for its second edition, which will take place in 2016. Bergen Assembly has appointed three distinct positions to present separate projects. Artist Tarek Atoui will develop one part of the Assembly, while a second component will be convened by Rhea Dall & Kristine Siegel, founders of PRAXES Center for Contemporary Art in Berlin. In parallel, freethought will produce a research, discourse, and display platform on “infrastructure.”

Bergen Assembly is a perennial model for artistic production and research that is structured around public events taking place in the city of Bergen every three years. The flexible model, reinvented for each edition, responds in particular to a perceived need for alternative temporalities of art production and experience within an oversaturated information culture where attention itself is increasingly commodified and under pressure. The radical expansion of time-based art forms during the past decades is at once a symptom of this situation and the locus for a critical reflection on contemporary timescapes that may also inform the creation of new and more situation-responsive institutional structures.

To this end, Bergen Assembly outlines a model for a reflexive temporality, so as to open up to alternative timeframes, densities, and relational economies of production and experience.

In order to experiment with diverse forms of research strategies, the Bergen Assembly advisory board has invited Rhea Dall & Kristine Siegel of PRAXES and the artist Tarek Atoui to each convene their independent parts of the 2016 edition. The Assembly has simultaneously invited the group freethought to realize and stage the project “infrastructure.”

Tarek Atoui was born in Lebanon in 1980 and moved to France in 1998, where he studied sound art and electro-acoustic music. In 2008 he served as artistic director of STEIM (STudio for Electro Instrumental Music) in Amsterdam, a center for the research and development of new electronic musical instruments since 1969. Atoui has presented works internationally including at the New Museum, New York (2009/2010); Sharjah Biennial 9 and 11, United Arab Emirates (2009/2013); Media City Seoul (2010); Haus der Kunst, Munich (2010); Performa 11, New York (2011); dOCUMENTA 13, Kassel (2012); Serpentine Gallery, London (2012); Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm (2012–2013); The MERCOSUL Biennial, Porto Alegre (2013); and the 8th Berlin Biennial (2014).

Founded in 2013 by Rhea Dall & Kristine Siegel, PRAXES Center for Contemporary Art is a not-for-profit venue for international art and research presenting half-year cycles of consecutive exhibition modules, publications, and live activities around two unassociated artistic practices. Located in Berlin, PRAXES presented five exhibitions by Gerard Byrne and three by Jutta Koether in fall 2013, while spring 2014 has been dedicated to five installations by Falke Pisano and four displays by Judith Hopf. Drawing on their previous positions in museum institutions, residency programs, and biennials, and their current research at University of Copenhagen, Dall and Siegel favor extended, collective modes of investigation, allowing both long-term resonances and productive discrepancies in an artistic practice to find their place in exhibitions, texts, and events.

freethought (Irit Rogoff, Stefano Harney, Adrian Heathfield, Mao Mollona, Nora Sternfeld, Louis Moreno) is a loose collective of scholars, curators, organisers, and cultural actors. As a platform for knowledge production, research, and creative practice, it engages performatively with varying models of inquiry including art, activism, pedagogy, and political economy. Formed in 2011, freethought has developed several contributions for the Steirischer Herbst Festival and for FORMER WEST. For the Bergen Assembly, freethought will produce an extensive conceptual platform on the problematics of infrastructure. Focusing on “infrastructure” as the organizing grammar of any system of world management—be it colonialism, state planning, or market capitalismthe platform aims to prize the notion away from the rhetoric of planners. In asking whether one can infuse the term with critical reflection, subjectivity, and affect, freethought produces it as an arena for cultural activity.

The second edition of Bergen Assembly will present public events throughout 2016, with a culmination of exhibitions, discursive platforms, and other events opening in September 2016.

Bergen Assembly announces artistic directors for second edition
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