How Much Fascism?

How Much Fascism?

Kunsthal Extra City, Antwerpen / BAK, basis voor actuele kunst

Cesare Pietroiusti, Pensiero unico, 2003.

September 21, 2012

How Much Fascism?

BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht
29 September–23 December 2012
Opening: 28 September, 5pm

Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerp
5 October–11 November 2012
Opening: 5 October, 7pm

Burak Delier, Etcétera…, Avi Mograbi, Marina Naprushkina, Trevor Paglen, Cesare Pietroiusti, Jonas Staal, Mladen Stilinović, SUPERFLEX, Milica Tomić, and Lidwien van de Ven
Curated by What, How & for Whom/WHW

Extra City Kunsthal
Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Judith Hopf, Sanja Iveković, Gert Jan Kocken, Thomas Kvam, Avi Mograbi, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Cesare Pietroiusti, Lidwien van de Ven, and Želimir Žilnik
Curated by Mihnea Mircan and What, How & for Whom/WHW

The project How Much Fascism? engages with the claims articulated in Slovenian philosopher and political activist Rastko Močnik’s collection of texts published in 1995 under the same name. In the midst of the disintegration of Yugoslavia, Močnik related the conflicts and the rise of fascist forces in geographies “from the Adriatic to Siberia” to the structural consequences of the induction and reconstruction of peripheral capitalism. At the time of the establishment of several new state entities based on nationalistic ideologies, Močnik outlined the range of social conjunctures crucial to this process, commenting on their “anti-anti-Fascism” and cultural policies with racist undertones. But the comfortable relationship between capitalism and democracy—one that appeared to be taken for granted in the decade following the Cold War—has been obliterated since the beginning of the twenty-first century. The symptoms that Močnik detected in the “peripheries” have taken an increasingly strong hold at the core of western liberal democracy.

Each iteration of the exhibition engages with disparate details and fragmented narratives, the “short-circuits between the particular and the universal” that Močnik considers characteristic of contemporary forms of fascism, presenting a series of case studies whose “local” particularity is tested against broader social changes. The works on display in How Much Fascism? weigh artistic agency against political manifestations that can be examined as cases of fascist resurgence: the rise of nationalistic sentiment and anti-immigrant legislations (Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Avi Mograbi, Marina Naprushkina, Cesare Pietroiusti, SUPERFLEX, and Lidwien van de Ven); the denial, suppression, and deformation of history (Etcétera…, Sanja Iveković, Gert Jan Kocken, Milica Tomić, and Želimir Žilnik); the normalization of war and excessive violence (Burak Delier, Thomas Kvan, and Trevor Paglen); and numerous instances of enforced procedures in the administration of daily life that outline the disquieting contours of fascism (Judith Hopf, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Jonas Staal, and Mladen Stilinović). At the same time, the presented works actively engage with the question of the role of art and its institutions in times when democracy is increasingly being handed over to expert bodies wholly unaccountable to the electorate, and there is little doubt that the art world is not where the decisions are being made.

Following the exhibition opening, Part Two of the 3rd FORMER WEST Research Congress: Beyond What Was Contemporary Art, continued takes place on 29 September 2012 at Utrecht School of the Arts, Mariaplaats 27, Utrecht. For more information please visit:

What, How & for Whom/WHW started a project dealing with contemporary manifestations of fascism with the exhibition Details, Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen in 2011. The research develops further through the two-year long project initiated by WHW under the title Beginning As Well As We Can (How Do We Talk About Fascism?). This series of activities from 2012–2014 is a collaboration with Tensta konsthall, Stockholm and Grazer Kunstverein, Graz.

How Much Fascism? at BAK is a research exhibition within the framework of BAK’s long-term project FORMER WEST, which is generously supported by the Mondriaan Fund, Amsterdam and the EU Culture Programme, Brussels.

At Extra City Kunsthal, How Much Fascism? is the second in a series of four projects collectively titled Cross-Examinations, preoccupied with the strategies via which art extracts, negotiates, and upholds truth. It is preceded by Anarchism with Adjectives. On the work of Christopher D’Arcangelo and followed by These and Other Works, grouping a few exemplary positions of social engagement in Belgian art, and Ultimate Substance (2012), a new film by Anja Kirschner and David Panos. Extra City Kunsthal is generously supported by the Flemish Community.

BAK, basis voor actuele kunst
Lange Nieuwstraat 4
3512 PH Utrecht
Hours: Wed–Sat 12–5pm; Sun 1–5pm

T +31 030 2316125
F +31 087 7844660

Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerp
Tulpstraat 79
B-2060 Antwerp

Hours: Wed–Sun 2–7pm; Thu 2–8pm

T +32 03 677 1655
F +32 03 677 1655

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How Much Fascism? at BAK, Utrecht and Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerp
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Kunsthal Extra City, Antwerpen  / BAK, basis voor actuele kunst
September 21, 2012

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