Mind the system, find the gap
3 june 2012 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 30 september 2012
Mind the system
smaller structures and agreements regulate the specificities of that domain. Some are about codes, formal, others mostly systems and informal, but overall structures they can be considered as known and “What an installation, a perfor widely acknowlmance, a concept or a mediat edged. Generaed image can do is to mark out tion upon gena possible or real shift with re eration, systems spect to the laws, the customs, and structures the measures, the mores, the are (often untechnical and organizational consciously) devices that define how we transferred must behave and how me may and, as a result, relate to each other...What we strengthened. look for in art is a different way They become to live, a fresh chance at coex increasingly istence.” 1 evident, and less discernible. At the same time, — Brian Holmes systems are conWe are constantly destantly evolving: they veloping systems in an are adapted, reformed, attempt to organise and discarded or replaced. give a sense of direction to our daily lives: One might view these political, economic, but regulatory systems as a also architectural and web or net, a grid that spatial, social, ideologi- is drawn over our socical and cultural systems ety like a blanket. Yet, coordinate our society. life and mankind disWithin each domain, play a degree of com-
plexity that can never be fully encompassed by these systems; the blanket is not airtight. However constant and rigid a system may appear, it can always be approached from its loopholes. In this way, a legal system can never regulate everything, it can never describe and assess every and any possible human action. What is more, any action is subject to interpretation: when does an action, a fact, an idea belong to one category or the other? The same holds for a spatial system: the specific makeup of a space can direct people on a certain course (think, for example, of subway tunnels or streets between apartment blocks that require people to walk in line). However, you cannot always ‘make’ people follow the path. In other words, despite the different layers of monitoring systems, the
“A ‘fold’ in a system can be seen as an interruption of its internal order, an irregularity in its rigid functioning. Artists can be flexible (easily moving and restructuring) and hopefully smart enough, to exploit the system’s folds, and work within (or even thanks to) them.” 2 — Cesare Pietroiusti “I am in favour of starting off from the gaps that power has. One of the first to realise this is Herman Melville. Have you read Bartleby? Bartleby says just one thing to power: ‘I would prefer not to’. I do not believe that power is a perfectly functioning mechanism. Yes, power is everywhere but with its weaknesses and gaps.” 3 — Ahmet Ögüt blanket continues to exhibit gaps, the loopholes remain. Artists – perhaps more so than other people – look for these gaps. They play with them, operate within them; from these loopholes
they point to, infiltrate, destabilise or criticize the systems to which they relate, or they create an alternate reality from the folds or gaps these systems exhibit.
The codes and systems that control our daily lives are the leitmotif in Mind the System, Find the Gap and in the practice of the participating artists. The exhibition brings together a wide selection of artists creating work from different media, disciplines and contexts. Whatever position, artistic strategy or purpose these artists have chosen, they all provide
us with a different angle on and an alternative use of the systems that surround us. Mind the System, Find the Gap is an exhibition project that is positioned within society and takes society as its scope, a position that reflects the mission and vision of Z33. The exhibition also positions itself against a background of topical changes and developments within our contemporary neo-liberal society. The Occupy movements, Indignados and G1000 initiatives are just a few of the ongoing protests against the predominant neoliberal system. At the same time, Mind the System, Find the Gap also inevitably positions itself in a broader context of art history, social science and philosophy, a context and framework in which the Situationists, the relationship between
art and society, space versus place, strategies and tactics, concepts such as context art or relational aesthetics, and the issue surrounding art, politics and (h) activism all play a role.
Find the gap about margins, voids, openings and boundaries
“The difference between current and earlier contextual art is that the ‘critical boundaries’ have been pushed back and extended, in that not only has art as a medium of free expression been problema tized, but that through the exposing of art’s frameworks, artists have begun resolutely to take part in other discourses (ecology, ethnol ogy, architecture and politics) and the boundaries of art’s institutions have thus significantly expanded. The critique of representation became the critique of power and culture, and above all of reality, as constructed by various discourses. Therefore, by unveiling the con struction of art and reality (…), reality, section by section, is recov ered. It is no longer solely about the critique of art’s systems but the critique of reality and the analysis and creation of social processes.” 4 — Peter Weibel
A growing world population requires room, space, a segmentation and organisation within a complex and evergrowing urban fabric. But besides that which is written or constructed, there is also what is nót there: the void in-between. Every building, every street implies a gap - an urban
non-place, a residual leftover as a result of sometimes legal or architectural agreements, sometimes sociohistorical or economic arrangements. In 1973, Gordon MattaClark purchased fifteen lots for a handful of dollars from the state of New York. Apart from not being in use, the parcels were also considered ‘useless’ because of their specific location and size. For Matta-Clark, they were the ideal places to exercise his practice of anarchitecture. MattaClark photographed the lots, measured them and formulated ideas on how they might possibly be used by artists. Meanwhile, Berlin also has its version of MattaClark’s Odd Lots in the Option Lots of architect Arno Brandlhuber 5. In 1989 Japanese artist Tadashi Kawamata was looking for a larger space for his first instal-
lation on Canadian soil. the void in order to fill it, comes to the appropriaTwo neo-classical build- guiding our gaze. And is tion of what is handed ings, a small isolated bit there anyone in Hasselt to us by regional and of park and the street who does not rememurban systems. In Aveformed the contours for ber Karl Philips’ penida Ixtapaluca (2009), Colonial Tavern Park. culiar construction on Jordi Colomer shows In the same how the inhabityear he also set “A place (lieu) is the order (of what ants of Ixtapaluto work in the ever kind) in accord with which ele ca, a Mexican courtyard of ments are distributed in relationships suburb estabthe Beguinage of coexistence... A place is thus an lished to accomSt. Elizabeth instantaneous configuration of po modate for some in Kortrijk, resitions. It implies an indication of 80,000 people in establishing its stability...A space exists when one a period of rapid connection with takes into consideration vectors of urbanization, mathe urban space. direction, velocities, and time vari nipulate the imHidden corners ables...On this view, in relation to posed urban and and crannies place, space is like the word when it social hierarchy behind vendis spoken, that is, when it is caught in to suit their own ing machines, the ambiguity of an actualization,... needs. Another 6 billboards and In short, space is a practiced place.” example is the a construction phenomenon of site were the elephant paths — Michel de Certeau arena for Tokyo or ‘desire paths’. Project: New Housing Hasselt’s inner ring Plan, 1998, Kawamata’s road: a caravan, “The key to the desire path exercise in urban living. 2m off the ground, is not just that it’s a path In 2009, Sebastian wedged between which one person or a Stumpf also went looktwo houses sepagroup has made, but that ing for the gaps in the rated by a narrow it’s done against the will of urban fabric of Tokyo in piece of unusable some authority which would his photo series Sukiland. have us go another, rather ma. Not to live there, The citizen, of less convenient, way.” 7 but to stand there for a course, cannot moment - and indicate lag behind when it — Georgie R
Flickr groups have of Everyday Life”, he Several artists go furbeen devoted to them 8, describes the tactics ther than the mere known and lesser which ordinary people mapping, documenting known artists (including use to claim autonomy and visualisation of the Jeff Wall, Mircea Canand to discover gaps margins and gaps in tor and Jan-Dirk van in the ruling economic, different systems. They der Burg) have made political and cultural actively make use of work inspired by desire structures. these loopholes to infilpaths. Dutch architrate systems and tect Anne Holtrop, “Dwelling, moving about, speak possibly destabilise even built a house them. ing, reading, shopping, and on one: Trail House. cooking are activities that seem But artists also In the digital into correspond to the character look into other than istics of tactical ruses and sur formation socispatial and urban prises: clever tricks of the ‘weak’ ety, Matta-Clark’s systems when adanarchitecture within the order established by dressing the gap: grew into so-called the ‘strong’, an art of putting in The Smuggler one over on the adversary on his ‘hackitecture’ 11 : (2006), Yto Barrada own turf, hunter’s tricks, ma collectives of arpresents the image neuverable, polymorph mobili chitects, artists of an elderly womties, jubilant, poetic, and warlike and activists who an who smuggles discoveries.” 9 attempt to create fabrics and clothes temporary (physical from Ceuta to Tan— Michel de Certeau or virtual) spaces giers. In this way, that escape formal Barrada demonstrates structures and imposed how a border not only The in-between as systems. Inspired by delineates, but is also strategy hacker and DIY culture inevitably porous and they use botprovides passage to the “Subversivity (…) a disruptive at tom-up open other side. In this contitude that tries to create open source techtext, Michel de Certeau ings, possibilities in the ‘closed niques in an at10 talks about ‘tactics’ ness’ of a system.” tempt to estab(in relation to ‘stratelish alternative gies’). In “The Practice connections or — Lieven De Cauter
create new social networks (e.g. the Spanish collective Hackitectura, or the German Urban Drift). From cyber culture, hacking grew into hacktivism, a strategy that stretches across all disciplines, ranging from architecture to art to activism, and may include small acts of civil disobedience. Hackers use precisely those so-called bugs, holes, leaks and inconsistencies to infiltrate in a system, to control or appropriate it and possibly destabilise it. In this context, the work of artists or collectives, such as Irational.org, 0100101110101101.org, Ubermorgen.com, Jodi, Christophe Bruno, System 77, anti-advertising agency, ... comes to mind.
this very same strategy for years. The collective around the duo Mike Bonanno and Andy Bichlbaum practise what they themselves call “Identity Correction”. The Yes Men target large companies, governments and leaders whose agendas, they feel, strongly conflict with public interest. In their practice, they make skilful use of the existing media and communication systems. They create spoof websites, for instance, and then wait for a formal invitation to represent a company to speak at press conferences, on symposiums, television, etc. They use these platforms to publicly confront these companies and governments with their hidden agenda, forcing them to take a stance.
The Yes Men are a collective that has been consistently applying
American artist Jill Magid chooses a more subtle approach,
searching for emotional and intimate relationships with otherwise impersonal structures of power. She arranged to be trained by a security guard in the New York subway after the 9/11 attacks in New York and rendered her personal experiences in a book and exhibition (Lincoln Ocean Victor Eddy). In 2005, she used the commission she obtained from the Dutch secret service to penetrate into this extremely closed and anonymous service. The organisation thought her interpretation of the commission – to create a work that would give the organisation a more human face and public image – rather too literal. Between 2005 and 2008, Magid interviewed several secret agents, which resulted in an exhibition and a nonfiction novel, Becoming Tarden (2009). After the
first, and only, exhibition at Tate Modern, the novel was confiscated, along with Magid’s notebooks containing the interviews. Later on, the book appeared in a censored version. In her practice, the Finnish artist Pilvi Takala infiltrates into existing, mostly social structures to expose the unwritten rules and norms by displaying somewhat deviant behaviour. Entering a tradition of artists such as Ann Messner, or the Belgian Messieurs Delmotte, Takala challenges “the system (conventions) from the inside out, with actions verging on what is ‘proper’. For this purpose she selects environments that are laden with unwritten rules, rules of
conduct, customs and habits which one is supposed to meet” 12 : a trolley (in Easy Rider, 2006), a C&A branch (in The Angels, 2008), a Berlin shopping mall (in Bag Lady, 2006-2008).
Situations – creating realities
Point of focus is not conclusively restricted to destabilising or criticising the existing systems through interventions / actions, but may coincide with, or possibly be surpassed by the will to create an alternate reality in the fold, in that margin.
“Our central idea is the construc tion of situations, that is to say, the concrete construction of momentary ambiances of life and their transformation into a supe rior passional quality. We must develop a systematic intervention based on the complex factors of two components in perpetual interaction: the material environ ment of life and the behaviors which it gives rise to and which radically transform it.” 13 — Guy Debord “Creation is not the arrangement of objects and forms, it is the invention of new laws on such ar rangement.” 14 — Guy Debord
Mejor Vida Corp. (Better Life Corporation) by Minerva Cuevas, for instance, is a critique of the prevailing practices and the discourse of service-forprofit companies against the context of predominant neo-liberalism. Even so, Minerva Cuevas taps into the same codes and practices used in the structures she is criticising to effectively do that which is promised in the discourse: provide services
and products for a better and happier life. In the same way, Heath Bunting’s Identity4You can be read as a critique of the way legal and government systems treat individuals, and how a person - at least before the law and the government – is the aggregate of his or her data exchange, rather than a personality in a body. But Bunting goes one step further in that he pursues the creation of new realities, in this case new legal personalities, within these prevalent legal and governmental systems. The boundaries between documenting, infiltrating, destabilising margins or gaps on the one hand and suggesting or actively creating an alternate reality on the other are blurred. Even so, it can be argued that the commitment of the artist differs
one way or the other. This question is part of the discussion about the relationship between art, activism and politics, a discussion which is very much alive today. Although it might seem as if the elements of this discussion have remained the same for decades, the stakes have never been higher. Some theorists are therefore wondering out loud whether the only possible role of art might not just be activism:
Ahmut Ögüt’s artistic contribution, ‘Strategic Diagram for Non-hierarchical Participatory Radical Democracy’ 16, which is incorporated in this catalogue, refers to cracks and disintegration as a kind of strategic opportunity. “Through the use of strategic tools (time / speed / distance, ...) (...) one can begin to go through the actual gaps and fissures to read the possibility of non-hierarchical participatory radical democracy in its unlimited, new and undiscovered forms.” 17
“Artists and intellectuals have to change gear and turn the tables in response [to the rise of this new mode of capitalism and the disintegration of the social along with the shadow of ecological disaster]: from the spirit of negation to a practice of affirmative civic protest, in short, from subversion to acti vism.” 15 — Lieven De Cauter
And for those who feel that any form of protest, criticism or commitment in art is absurd because of its inevitable place within various institutional systems, we gladly refer to a quote by TJ Demos:
“But who is to say that such work, no matter where it is presented, cannot inspire a politicization amongst unexpected viewers, or contribute to unsuspected alliances with social movements outside the gallery, or even inspire protests and manifestations? The problem with arguments that endow the ‘system’ with a seemingly omnipotent power of co-optation is that they end up serving that very power, inadvert ently licensing reactionary attacks on art’s political ambition.” 18 — T.J. Demos
Epilogue Each exhibition and catalogue inevitably enters a series of (art historical) systems and structures. For the exhibition Mind the System, Find the Gap the choice was made to divide the works into three major thematic groups: artists whose work centres around legal, political and economic systems, those who address spatial and architec-
tural systems, and lastly, artists focusing on social and cultural systems. Obviously, this division is a loose and relative one, and one that displays some degree of overlap. To emphasise the relativity of the applied organisation structure of Mind System, Find the Gap in the catalogue, we have chosen to develop a mindmap, visuali sing the links and connections between the participating artists from various alternative perspectives. To ‘relate’ the exhibition in a different, but equally relevant manner. Graphic designer Niek Kosten has developed a fully graphic com-
munication for Mind the System, Find the Gap. In the exhibition’s catalogue he sought to elaborate on the traditional structures and systems of graphic design. In doing so, he subtly revealed various visible and invisible systems within this grid. And so, both the exhibition itself and the catalogue alike challenge the visitor to think about the systems and structures that are at play within the exhibition as a medium. Evelien Bracke Ils Huygens Karen Verschooren
1 – Brian Holmes, Escape the Overcode. Activist Art in the Control Society, 2009, p.13-14 2 – The folds of an institution. A conversation between Greg Sholette, Cesare Pietroiusti and Brett Bloom, 2001, source: http://subsol.c3.hu/ subsol_2/contributors0/ groups&spacestext. html 3 – Conversation Sezgin Boynik & Ahmet Ögüt, Letter from Themroc!, published in: Halil Altindere (ed.), Ahmet Ögüt: Informal Incidents, art-ist contemporary Art Series-9, Artist Book, 2008. 4 – Context art. Towards a social construction of art / 1994. In: C. Doherty. Situation. Documents of Contemporary Art, 2009, p.51 5 – Option Lots – Eine Recherche von
brandlhuber. In Arch+ 201/202. Source: http://www.archplus. net/home/archiv/ar tikel/46,3600,1,0.html 6 – Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, 1984, p. 117 7 – Flickr: Desire Paths. Bron: http://www.flickr. com/groups/desire_ paths/ 8 – Flickr: Desire Paths. Bron: http://www.flickr. com/groups/desire_ paths/ 9 – Michel De Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, 1984, p. 40 10 – Lieven De Cauter. Notes on Subversion / Theses on Activism. In: Art and Activism in the Age of Globalization, 2010, p. 6 11 – Hackitecture: From hacking and architecture: The use, in an unpredicted and
subversive way, of architectural / urban spaces, elements, and systems. The term was influenced by another new concept: hacktivism, that describes the mix of netart, computer science, and activism during the last years of the xxth century. Gonzo architecture: The architectural practice resulting from the application of the principles of gonzo journalism to architecture. In its seminal manifestation it is a mix of Situationism and cyberpunk. Source: http://straddle3.net/context/03/ en/2003_03_28.html 12 – Act/Out. Onomatopee 65: Research project, 2010, p. 5. 13 – Guy Debord (June 1957). Report on the Construction of Situations and on the International Situationist Tendency’s Conditions of Organization and
Action. Source: http:// www.cddc.vt.edu/sion line/si/report.html 14 – Guy Debord (June 1957). Report on the Construction of Situations and on the International Situationist Tendency’s Conditions of Organization and Action. Source: http:// www.cddc.vt.edu/sion line/si/report.html
18 – Poverty Pornography, Humanitarianism, and Neoliberal Globalization: Notes on Some Paradoxes in Contemporary Art. (on Renzo Martens’ Episode III: Enjoy Poverty) Stedelijk Bureau Newsletter 121 (April 2011). Source: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ art-history/about_us/ academic_staff/dr_tj_ demos/Demos-Pover ty_Porn.pdf
15 – Lieven de Cauter. Notes on Subversion / Theses on Activism. In: Art and Activism in the Age of Globalization, 2010, p. 16 16 – first published in GAGARIN volume 12 #2, November 2011 17 – Ahmet Ögüt, Strategic Diagram for Non-hierarchical Participatory Radical Democracy, in: GAGARIN, volume 12 #2, November 2011, p. 30
“My projects are a metaphor for my philosophy which is not only against architecture or art or a city, but against catego rised and culturally enclosed situations and the political power structure which we al ready have. (…) I see what I do as visual terrorism. (…). I make a noise but its meaning is just like a big Happening. I create something that is in a different order. Because the city is based on a very tight structure, the artist must always make some thing to resist it.” 1 — T. Kawamata
‘Begijnhof St Elizabeth Kortrijk’ (1989-1990) Tadashi Kawamata Kawamata’s interven-
‘Project Begijnhof St-Elizabeth’ (1989-1990) Tadashi Kawamata – Photo: Ingeborg Knigge
tion in the Beguinage St. Elizabeth in the city of Kortrijk, Belgium entailed a construction that connected the beguinage – a place where Kawamata thought time had come to a standstill – to the city – the outer space,
which was completely rebuilt after WWII. Kawamata compared the beguinage to a cancer in a living body, operating as an autonomous and parasitical entity in its carrier.
‘Tokyo Project: New Housing Plan’ (1998) Tadashi Kawamata ‘Tokyo Project: New Housing Plan, Tokyo, (1998)’ is an integration of three housing units in Tokyo’s urban district: House of Vending Machines, House of Billboards, and House of Construction Fences. “In this art I’m interested in question ing the possibilities of the forgotten spaces that exist between other sites. (…). The idea is to make people think about what a house is.” 2
– T. Kawamata
Against the backdrop of increasing economic efficiency and social control, the city of Tokyo appears for Kawamata as a completely neutral cityscape in which only submissive artistic projects are looked-for. In a subversive way, he appropriates informal spaces in the centre of the city in order to install small, anonymous hideaways and “mental retreats”. Between construction fences, vending machines and behind elevated billboards, ‘Construction fence house’, ‘Vending machine house’ and ‘Billboard house’ are constructed with ordinary building materials. The focus is less on aspects of improvised basic architecture, but more on the possibilities of fragmented living on very small amounts of space. Equipped with a power
connection, a CD player and a sleeping bag, the retreats offer the minimum of what is needed for a one week living experiment by the volunteering inhabitants. ‘Vending machine house’ and ‘Billboard house’ surpass the capitalist use of space. They are ‘productive’ as one can generate small income through the sale of drinks or advertising space rental. By combining vending machines, billboards, construction fences
‘Tokyo Project: New Housing Plan’ (1998) Shigeo Anzaï
Tadashi Kawamata, Tokyo Project: New Housing Plan, Tokyo, December 1998 © ANZAÏ Tadashi Kawamata, Tokyo Project: New Housing Plan, Tokyo, December 1998 © ANZAÏ
and opaque light glass slabs, the private becomes public while public space is concealed. Only attentive passerbys become the occasional spectators of an anonymous act of living. Since Kawamata builds his ‘guerrilla houses’ without any official permission, he questions
the tolerance of the immediate neighbourhood and the permissiveness of society. Facing the possibilities of the city, Kawamata feels a ‘deep, quiet freedom’. 3 – Andreas Pluskota
‘conciërge’ (2010) karl philips
‘Conciërge’ (2010) Karl Philips – Photo: Karl Philips
‘The Good, the Bad, the UglY’ commission (2012) karl philips Three mobile living units – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly adopt the language and shape of advertising to blend into and temporarily occupy the public space. For a period of four months in the summer of 2012, the modules will be inhabited by nomadic performers, who are supported in their livelihood by the sale of the advertising space that literally encapsulates them.
‘The Good, the Bad, the Ugly’ (2012) Karl Philips Photo: Google Streetview
‘The Good, the Bad, the Ugly’ (2012) Karl Philips – Photo: Karl Philips
“I create a fold of a kind, so that the margin hews a recess into the system. The consequence is that you obtain a more pano ramic outlook on the system, without actually escaping [it].” 4 — Karl Philips
‘Renault Trafic’ (2011) Karl Philips For Renault Trafic, Karl Philips drove three old Renaults to the Bois de Boulogne, near Paris. By day, this park is the ideal getaway for hikers, joggers and day-trippers. At night, numerous parked vans – mainly Renault Trafics with flat or even no tyres – function as illegal prostitution squats. With Renault Trafic Philips addresses
strategies of survival ‘Renault Trafic’ (2011) Karl Philips of miPhoto: Karl Philips norities within dominant Philips parked three systems. The Bois de customized (and weldBoulogne is – for the ed shut) Renault Trafics greater part - inhabited as sculptural eleby Parisian outcasts, ments between homeless people and the other vans – a drug addicts who are scene for the untrying to survive in the knowing actors: shrubbery alongside “On the street, the trail walks. With his the three Renault intervention, Philips en- Trafics func ters a social reality and tion as a space, changes a number of a stage-set for elements in its chaotic an unconscious structure. He refrains performance, from acting as a cultural performed by an therapist, however, limunknown cast.” – iting himself to showing publication Onothe pragmatics of daymatopee 5 to-day life.
‘The basement’ (2009) karl philips
‘The Basement’ (2009) Karl Philips Photo: Google Streetview
“Renault Trafic is a reflection on the flipside of our freemarket economy” 6 — Karl Philips
‘Hagioscoop’ (2012) Atelier Van Lieshout Photo: Atelier Van Lieshout
“AVL Ville, free state and studio”
‘Renault Trafic’ (2011) Karl Philips Photo: Ralph Roelse
‘Insect Farm’ comission (2012) Atelier Van Lieshout
The modules by Atelier Van Lieshout - which serve as a mobile reception unit at Z33 for Mind the System, Find the Gap, are part of a larger project in which AVL wishes to visualize alternative scenarios for the future. ‘Insect Farm’ is one component of a labyrinth of various
farms which focuses on insects as nutritious, cost-effective and lowimpact foods. ‘Insect Farm’ is commissioned by REcentre (centre for sustainable design) and Z33 – Art in open space.
‘Insect Farm’ (2012) Atelier Van Lieshout – Photo: Atelier Van Lieshout
‘Sukima’ (2009) Sebastian Stumpf The 28 images in the photographic series ‘Sukima’ (2009) show a person standing on walls and doors in the gaps of the dense architectural structure of the city of Tokyo, Japan. By literally positioning himself between the walls of these large buildings, Stumpf disrupts our usual, everyday experience of the city, directing our gaze to what is in-between, behind, or beyond.
‘Sukima’ (2009) Sebastian Stumpf Photo: Sebastian Stumpf
‘Performance #26’ commission (2012) Sebastian Stumpf The video projection ‘Performance #26’ presents a staged performance by Sebastian Stumpf in exactly the same space where it was filmed, i.e. the back staircase of Z33’s main exhibition space. Stumpf thus visually expands the
exhibition space, exploring what is usually a mere transitional space. Apart from expanding and altering the space, its use is also appropriated in this intervention: Stumpf presents not its common use, but a possible use; a use which is potential‘Performance #14’ (2007) ly always there yet Sebastian Stumpf – site-specific mostly inactive. video projection, Museum der ‘Performance #26’ bildenden Künste, Leipzig is part of a series Photo: Sebastian Stumpf of site specific video projections. Previous installations “His body serves as a strangely real were made benchmark in a functional architec in Leipzig ture in which humans have become (2007), Ber- an abstract reference for the pur lin (2008) poses of architectural calculations and Linz and planning. Stumpf’s protagonist (2009). becomes a whimsical revenant of Le Corbusier’s Modulor (the figure meant to represent the dimensions of modern humans), yet does so as a kind of living sculpture.” 7 — Florian Ebner
‘re-flex [z33]’ commission (2012) Pablo Valbuena
‘Roulades’ (1998) Julien Prévieux
With re-flex [z33], Spanish artist Pablo Valbuena literally puts the Z33
‘Roulades’ (1998) Julien Prévieux Photo: Julien Prévieux
“(...) here there is also the in vention of a new practice and a new form of behaviour, spe cifically a new way of entering and moving through a generic provincial city, with its streets, alleyways, stairs, parks and traffic circles. (...) and by systematically misusing eve ryday circulation spaces and paths, he shapes a new bod ily machine, thereby slipping a kind of incongruous animal evolution into the sinister quotidian routine of an urban or domestic setting.” 8 — Elie During
exhibition space upside down. A gigantic periscope – usually leading the gaze outward – now brings the ceiling to the floor, influencing not only our perception but indeed our very understanding of the museum space. As in all of his work, Valbuena yet again plays with the categories of actual and virtual, bringing them together in one reality.
‘re-flex [z33]’ (2012) Pablo Valbuena – Photo: Pablo Valbuena
re-flex [z33] re-: again, back. (from lat.) flex-, flect-: bend. (from lat.) reflex, reflect, reflection, reflexion bending, folding back return of light or sound waves from a surface careful thought, long consideration exceeding 180° act of reflecting, state of being reflected transformation in which each point is replaced by a point symmetric with respect to a line or plane action performed without conscious thought as a response to a stimulus copy exact in essential features power of responding with adequate speed reflected source of light effect produced by an influence process comprising reception, transmission, and reaction that culminates in a reflex way of thinking or behaving image given back by a reflecting surface
‘Based on a Grid’ commission (2012) Esther Stocker
‘Untitled’ (2009) – foam core, tape and pins on wall, 2,92 x 6,85 x 5 m – Exhibition view Beyond These Walls, South London Gallery, London
In ‘Based on a Grid’ (2012), Esther Stocker creates a spatial system from a series of black painted wooden blocks in the entrance hall of the Z33 exhibition building. The visitor is drawn into the installation, as it were, and is challenged by the system, the grid that is there but not immediately visible. For Stocker, the system is implied as much by its gaps as it is by its contours. But do we want to look for the system or are we happy to loose ourselves in the chaos
“What interests me most (…) is how the precision of a rational and functional system opposes the ap proximate. Or, more pre cisely: the vagueness of exact forms.” 10 — Esther Stocker
of scattered elements drifting apart? A decision which according to Jan Verwoert, contributing editor Frieze Magazine and freelance author, depends on
the position one takes or is willing to take with regards to ordering structures. He therefore concludes:
”Using abstrac tion as a me dium, [Esther Stocker] for mulates a critical posi tion with respect to the authority of ordering structures.” 9 — Jan Verwoert
Maquette for installation ‘Based on a grid’ (2012) Esther Stocker – Photo: Esther Stocker
‘Powerless Structures Nr. 136’ (2002) Elmgreen & Dragset ‘Powerless Structures Nr. 136’ is one of the ‘door-works’ in an extensive and still growing list of ‘Powerless Structures’ by the artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset. Jochen Volz, German art historian and curator, says the following about this series of works: “Their ‘Powerless Structures’ are an on going series of installa tions and performances in which the two artists examine space with its manifold possibilities of meaning and func tions. (…). By transfer
ring spaces to other contexts of meaning, but also via targeted in terventions in the way a space functions, Elmgreen and Drag set time and again succeed in shak ing off the customary meanings of a space and thus creating ‘Powerless Structures, Fig. 136’ (2002) Elmroom for green & Dragset – Photo: Bent Ryberg new and different interpretations. All works of the artists therefore express the alterability of estab lished structures.” 11 — Jochen Volz
“In Foucault’s History of Sexuality, he writes that no structure is able to suppress anybody Ð not the struc ture itself. It’s only how you deal with the structures already being there, and all structures can be altered or mutated. That was very much an in spiration for us... to discover that everything is just structures that could be something else... the patterns could be different. It was just a question of imagination. And when it’s just a question of imagination, the visual art field is such a good area in which to work with these things in a very concrete and very simple way. So we started making these suggestions, that everything - from social and political structures to architectural and cultural structures - could be something more exciting and more open... and to make these suggestions we just needed such small elements to start the change ...” 12 — Elmgreen & Dragset
‘Window and Ladder, Too Late for Help’ (2008) Leandro Erlich
Window and Ladder, Too Late for Help, is both pensive and playful, suggesting at the same time flight and rescue. The artist considers reality as a social construction, which he deconstructs in his art. By transporting a house into the heavens, building an
‘Window and Ladder, too late for help’ (2008) – Installation view at Prospect 1, New Orleans – Courtesy: GALLERIA CONTINUA, San Gimignano / Beijing / Le Moulin – Courtesy: NoguerasBlanchard, Barcelona – Private collection, Palma de Mallorca
underwater room and taking an apartment to the fairgrounds, he creates a new context in which ordinary surroundings become adaptable and transitory. Leandro Erlich conceived the first version of Window and Ladder for a biennial in New Orleans, after Hurricane Katrina had brought destruction to the city. Struck by the presence of the absence, he imagined an impossible situation: a ladder leaning against a window from the remaining parts of a house, floating in the air.
‘WATERDRAWING (letter to Ronny HeirEmans)’ (1999) Katleen Vermeir In Waterdrawing (letter to Ronny Heiremans) I draw the plan of a room from my memory, with a brush and pure water on an open square. I
have never seen this room…it is described to me in a letter. The letter describes in words which objects stand where in the room, as well as the relationships between the objects expressed in subjective measurements by footsteps. While tracing the room, my footsteps give a rhythm to the marking of the lines. The sunlight makes the lines white and mirror-like, though the heat makes the drawing disappear even before it is finished.
‘Watertekeningen (Letter to Ronny Heiremans)’ (1999) Katleen Vermeir – Photo: Katleen Vermeir
“Not only our memories, but the things we have forgotten are ‘housed’. Our soul is an abode. And by remembering ‘houses’ and ‘rooms’, we learn to ‘abide’ within ourselves. Now everything becomes clear, the house images move in both directions: they are in us as much as we are in them (…).” 13 — Gaston Bachelard
‘Liquid Architecture’ (1999) Katleen Vermeir – Photo: Katleen Vermeir
‘Liquid Architecture’ (1999) Katleen Vermeir In Liquid Architecture the memory of a Chinese interior with a bed
and a table is painted with pure water in a trompe l’oeil perspective on an open square. The perspective and the pattern of proportions is only accurate from the viewpoint of the static camera. The heat of the sun makes the drawing disappear before it is finished.
‘Reality Properties Fake Estates: Glendale Sliver (behind houses), Block 3660, Lot 140’ (1973) Gordon MattaClark In 1973 and 1974 Gordon Matta-Clark bought fifteen empty lots in New York for next to nothing. They were tiny pieces of land, uninteresting to city developers because of their limited size, strange shape
‘Reality Properties Fake Estates: Glendale Sliver (behind houses), Block 3660, Lot 140’ (1973) Gordon Matta-Clark Courtesy: Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Vaduz
or because they were squeezed in between other parcels. These spaces or, rather, gaps, nevertheless were part of the city and helped shape its inner structure. They were the ideal places for MattaClark to apply his practice of anarchitecture. Matta-Clark photo-
graphed and measured the lots and formulated ideas on how artists might possibly use the lots. The limited documentation was posthumously made into collages by Matta-Clark’s wife, Jane Crawford.
Odd Lots: Revisiting Gordon Matta-Clark’s Fake Estates – Cabinet Books 2005 – Photo: Z33
‘ReaLity Properties: Fake Estates. Queens Project’ (1975) Jaime Davidovich
Jaime Davidovich. ‘Reality Properties: Fake Estates’ 1975. Courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York.
A visit to one of Gordon Matta-Clark’s Fake Estates was documented by his friend and artist Jaime Davidovich. He filmed Gordon MattaClark and a friend Betty Sussler as they were visiting and measuring the site.
‘option lots’ (2010...) ARNO Brandlhuber
Option Lots – Eine Recherche von brandlhuber, ARCH+ 201/202 14
“I first became involved with this project in 1973. At that time I was doing big adhesive tape projects, interventions on spaces, both private and public (…). Because of this interest in walls, and conceptu al thinking, and also because I am Argentinean, I became Gordon’s friend. (…). One day Gordon called me and told me about these slivers of land; I was immediately inter ested in doing taped projects and interventions. Gordon and I went to Queens and I took pictures of the sites; he also gave me maps of the spaces and I used the maps and photos to do proposals for interventions.” 15
cal banner, cartoonish cardboard made mod els of iconic buildings of local archi tecture. The image nests in the vast spectrum of religiosity of propaganda. More than
— Jaime Davidovich
‘anarchitecton’ Jordi Colomer “In the series named Anarchitekton (20022004), a character runs frenetically in front of urban landscapes of four cities of the world (Barcelona, Bucharest, Brasilia and Osaka) carrying as a politi
Jordi Colomer. Anarchitekton / Barcelona, Bucharest, Brasilia, Osaka. 2002-2004. video-installation. Courtesy: the artist and Galerie Meessen-DeClercq, Brussels.
Tatlin’s Tower proces sion; the actions evoke the late soviet parades, where personal com puters marched as to deny western con sumerism victory. The sharpness of the im ages of Anarchitekton is based on its duplica tion: the model inter rupts the landscape with a representation that translates in a handmade and child ish level the set up of the masses with which power has created the city. That extravagant gesture interrupts the prestige of modernity: beyond historical infer ences (Matta Clark’s anarchitecture or the models of Schwitters or Malevich), the actions of Jordi Colomer (Bar celona, 1962) play to point at architecture as a set up that requires a minstrel to deactivate.” 16
— Cuauhtémoc Medina
“When architecture identifies with a form of imposed power, one should act as the architect of his own life.” 17 — Jordi Colomer
‘Avenida Ixtapaluca (Houses for Mexico)’ (2009) Jordi Colomer The videowork ‘Avenida Ixtapaluca (Houses for Mexico), 2009’ by Jordi Colomer zooms in on one of Mexico’s outskirt cities, Ixtapaluca, where a sudden urbanization took place to house a population of 80.000 people. In the video “an aerial view appears to demonstrate the effec tiveness of the urban
and so cial order prevailing in the city. The repetition of a few standard types arrang es the urban web in a strictly Cartesian form. The bird’s eye view reveals a geometric space so scrupulously modelled that it looks like an artificial image, some digital artifice that simply multiplies infinitely a few icons of the system. (…). As the camera descends, the imperfections in that initial regularity are exposed. (…). The city no longer appears as an artificial landscape, but on the contrary, upon the cold body of the geometric web emerge touches of
do-it-yourself construc tion and small, colour fully painted walls. As we approach ground level, the city becomes the stage on which appear individual peo ple incrusted with real actions in pursuit of specific needs. The ar chitecture has not gone away, but it now suffers an evident infection caused by everything that grows in its Envi rons.” 18 — Martí Peran
‘Avenida Ixtapaluca (houses for mexico)’ (2009) – Jordi Colomer video installation. video still
“In 1923 a French in dustrialist named Henry Frugès commissioned the famous but still rela tively untried architect Le Corbusier, then thir ty-six years old, to build houses for a group of his manual workers and their families. Sited next to Frugès’s factories in Lège and Pessac, near Bordeaux, the result ing complexes were exemplars of Modern ism, each a series of undecorated boxes with long rectangular windows, flat roofs and bare walls. Le Corbusi
er was especially proud of their lack of local and rural allusions. [...] But the new tenants had a very different idea of beauty. [...] At the end of a shift in the plant, to be further reminded of the dynamism of modern industry was not a pressing psycho logical priority. Within a few years the workers therefore transformed their all-but-identical Corbusian cubes into uniquely differentiated, private spaces capable of reminding them of the things their working
lives had stripped away. Unconcerned with spoiling the great architect’s designs, they added to their houses pitched roofs, shut ters, smalls case ment windows, flowered wallpaper and picket fences in the vernacular style, and once that was done, set about installing a variety of ornamental fountains and gnomes in their front gardens.” 19 — Alain de Botton
“We live in space, in these spaces, these towns, this countryside, these corridors, these parks. That seems obvious to us. Perhaps indeed it should be obvious. But it isn’t obvious, not just a matter of course. [...] There’s nothing, for ex ample, to stop us from imagining things that are neither towns nor countryside (nor suburbs), or Métro corridors that are at the same time public parks. Nor anything to forbid us imagining a Mé tro in the heart of the countryside.” 20 — Georges Perec
‘Trail House’ (2009) Anne Holtrop In 2009, Dutch ‘Trail House’ (2009) Anne Holtrop architect Anne Photo: Bas Princen Holtrop built a house on a so-called ‘desire path’: Trail House. These de-
sire paths (‘olifantenpaden’ in Dutch) are paths that run straight through a lawn or meadow, often cutting corners. They are the result of people looking for a short cut, refusing to bow to the limitations of existing footpaths and walkways. They exemplify and visualize how people appropriate spaces as they put these to everyday use.
‘Trail House’ (2009) Anne Holtrop – Photo: Bas Princen
“In the same way that the Trail House has appropriated experiences, it has become the object of ‘use’ itself as well. […] This (re-)use opens up a range of extraor dinary possibilities to question existing representation structures. In The Practice of Everyday Life, the French theologian and sociologist Michel de Certeau describes in detail how this appropriation functions in daily life and how it is used as a tactical tool. The term ‘consumer’, writes de Certeau, does not mean that users are passive. Quite the contrary: they are extremely active, but they operate on a different level than do institutions and producers; not a strate gic, authoritative level, but a tactical level. (…) Walking is the example par excel lence of this appropriation; pedestrians are the true ‘makers’ of the city, argues de Certeau. They define space. In effect, the very definition of space hinges on the existence of pedestri ans: ‘Their intertwined paths give their shape to spaces. They weave places together. In that re spect, pedestrian movements form one of these ‘real systems whose existence in fact makes up the city’ […] It is true that the operations of walk ing can be traced on city maps in such a way as to transcribe their paths […] and their trajecto ries. […] But these thick or thin curves only refer, like words, to the absence of what has passed by.’ (The Practice of Everyday Life, Berkeley 1988, p. 97).” 21
“A house with the same curvature as a path, a house that curls, bends and splits through the landscape. The plan, as an objet trouvé of a landscape element, has defined char acteristics without being formed by its architectural function. A curvature, a dead end, a bifurcation, all are special spaces with its relations to the landscape.” — Anne Holtrop
— Kirsten Algera
‘Short Cut Leuven’ (2010) Stijn Van Dorpe “Short Cut Leuven was announced as a city project; a walk crossing the city from one end to the other. Following a straight line, to take the shortest way. In a way reciprocat ing the city’s structure and its many passages and ‘shortcuts’ (…).” 22
‘Short Cut Leuven’ (2010) – Stijn Van Dorpe – Photo: Liesbeth Bernaerts
— Christine Vuegen
‘3 Point Turn’ (in collaboration with Dorothee Kreutzfeldt) (2007) Simon Gush For 3 Point Turn, former minibus-taxi driver Sam Matentji was commis-
sioned to do a ‘stunt’ performance in Twist Street, in front of the Point Blank Gallery in Johannesburg, South
Africa. One of the city’s main taxi ranks is situated opposite the gallery, resulting in app. 150 000 commuters
passing daily and creating heavy traffic in the area. The car was decorated in a style that referenced both stunt cars and minibustaxis. Matentji christened the car ‘Ihashi Lemohlophe’, meaning ‘White Horse’ in isiXhosa. He proceeded to perform the task of completing a 3 point turn on the one-way road and then drive back against the traffic. The action was documented from the
Point Blank Gallery’s balcony. Within mere minutes a lengthy traffic jam congested the surrounding “The recomplexifying of history, insti streets. tutional critique, are some of Simon’s Or, how a tactics for cutting up big ideas into small action within more realistic fragments. The mo ment I find most exciting in his work a deshowever, are when he plays those ignated ‘strange forms’ and awkward in system can cause equalities back into the systems that has generated them and puts both complete parties to the test. The 21 Gun Salute chaos in for the Death of a Collector (2007) is no time at one of these. (…) Three point all. turn (2007) (…). is another one. (…). The point is, our position, your position, as spec tators, art spectators, participants in life, or history, they’re just set ups, temporarily har monised. They can be set up another way.” 23 — Liz Haines
‘3 Point Turn’ (2007) – Simon Gush Photos: Simon Gush
“I describe my works as open frames. Open, because they don’t consist of state ments or clear stories, but rather break holes within the fixed frames of our think ing, watching and feeling. A frequently used strategy consists of creating shifts, as between the art context and other (more everyday) realities. This flexibility comprises the aesthetic potential of the work. It sensi tizes our ability to be flexible and mobile in the relations we have with the world.” 24 — Stijn Van Dorpe
‘Children, buckets’ (2007) – Stijn Van Dorpe Photo: Stijn Van Dorpe
stijn van dorpe
‘Children, bucKets’ (2007) Stijn Van Dorpe In ‘Children, buckets’ we see schoolchildren standing on or in buckets in different formations. The sculpture (the bucket) becomes an alibi to show reality. The sculpture literally becomes a pedestal, which the children eagerly put into use to express themselves with a soft anarchy. This is exactly what the work of Stijn Van Dorpe aims at: a soft anarchy within a world we experience time and again as evident.
‘Assimilation (drawings)’ (2009…) Stijn Van Dorpe ’Assimilation’ is a series of ‘naked’ draw-
ings. Formally spoken, the drawing consists of a handwritten word on the one hand and a sheet of paper on the other. Usually, the line of a drawing takes us to different worlds, it is a tool the artist uses to create an imagined world. This series of drawings, however, has another aim. The handwritten word ‘assimila-
‘Assimilation (Drawings)’ (2009-...) Stijn Van Dorpe Photo: Bert de Leenheer
tion’ reveals that the word does not have the presumption to communicate something, but rather wants to be swallowed up in what is. The word is written in the same calligraphy that we learned at primary school. As such, it does not distinguish itself from the commonplace. So, instead of focusing on the imagined story, this ‘naked’ drawing focuses on the material presence, i.e. the paper and a flowing line, or what we call signature. The work conjures up visible parallel worlds, it raises questions concerning artists’ strategies and conventional contexts in which we are embedded.
“Even though the artist seems to recommend assimilation, in reality his main characteristic is non-assim ilation. It is in this non-assimilation that we can discover his anarchy. Each process of assimilation inevi table entails an absorption. ‘Making similar’ means the adaptation of the divergent to what is preconceived or dominant. Multiplicity and het erogeneity are denied in favour of homogeneity. Being dedicated to the model of unwritten, tacitly accepted rules is a feature of the ‘classic’. The opposite of assimilation is the main tenance and affirmation of differ ence. This can best be described as ‘anarchy’.” 25 — Francis Smets
‘Assimilation (hommage to Robert Ryman)’ (2010) Stijn Van Dorpe
‘Assimilation (Hommage to Robert Ryman)’ (2010) Stijn Van Dorpe Photo: Bert de Leenheer
The strong presence of the neon ‘Assimilation’ is due to the nature and function of neonsignalisation. At the same time, however, it exercises restraint, merging in its surroundings because of its white colour and meaning of the word ‘Assimilation’. This tension between presence and failed absence refers to an art-reflective strategy of the
‘in-between’ that plays an important role in the work of Stijn Van Dorpe (this neon is also literally located in between the sacral artistic space and the world). The title of the work also refers to the American painter Robert Ryman, known for his white paintwork in white rooms. In questioning the beginnings of a painting he conveys that its interpretation depends largely on the spectator.
‘Stilleven, volumes (Mind the System, Find the Gap, 02-06-2012)’ commission (2012) Stijn Van Dorpe This work takes the exhibition Mind the System, Find the Gap, or more specifically the artworks that are on show, as a context. At its basis lies a rather absurd action to link each artwork to a product with a similar market value as an
economic aspect of the differently at our market work. The economic economy as well as the value of the artwork artworld. was determined in consultation with the participating artists. Since the economic entanglement of the artwork is not a univocal fact, but displays a high degree of complexity, it was decided to indicate the appointed economic value (selling value, produc‘Stilleven, volumes (Mind the System, tion value,…). Find the Gap, 02-06-2012)’ commisThroughout the sion (2012) Stijn Van Dorpe – Photo: exhibition the Stijn Van Dorpe artist has added these similarly gauged products onto the labels of the works. With this work the artist intends to create an ‘outside’ by means of these imaginary volumes. As such, the artist offers the viewer a perspective to look
‘The Green Line’ (2004) FRANCIS ALÿS
‘The Green Line Jerusalem’ (2004) Francis Alÿs Video documentation of an action – Courtesy David Zwirner, New York
The Smuggler (2006) Yto Barrada For the past 30 years, T.M. has made regular trips to the Spanish enclave of Ceuta to smug-
gle back fabrics, clothing and brand-name goods ordered by shop owners in Tangiers. Because she is an elderly woman, Tax and Customs Officers usually do not search inside her coat at the border.
“In her ongoing in vestigation of the city of Tangiers, where she currently lives, and its adjacent narrow channel, the Strait of Gibraltar, the artist captures the tense atmosphere of a place where people constantly leave or try to leave for Europe. (Since the adoption of a common, closed border for the Euro pean Union created in 1991, North Africans are no longer able to travel freely across this channel.) This is not just a physical border, but a political symbolic and inti mately personal one.” 26
“I am always alert for what is lying under neath the surface of social behaviour.” Yto Barrada in an interview with Negar Azimi (catalogue Riffs): “I am an avid reader of Swift. Publicly the suppressed accept their oppression, but they always question it backstage. Subversive tactics, strategies and forms of sabotage used by the poor, that is what interests me most.” 27 — Yto Barrada
‘The Smuggler’ (2006) Yto Barrada – film still All rights reserved Yto Barrada
‘Strategic Diagram for Non-hierarchical Participatory Radical Democracy’ (2011) Ahmet Ögüt
The Strategic Diagram for Non-hierarchical Participatory Radical Democracy is a kind of strategic road map that is also trying to answer the question: What is our practice actually about? Referring to all mediators: curators, artists, cultural producers, activists, political ‘hacktivists’, revolutionaries, ontological anarchists, historians, social scientists
Michel de Certeau describes in his The Practice of Everyday Life the tactics available to the ordinary person for reclaiming autonomy from the all-pervasive forces of commerce, politics and culture. “Strategies pin their hopes on the resistance that the establishment for a place offers to the erosion of time; tactics on a clever utilization of time, of the opportunities it presents and also of the play that it introduces into the foundations of power.” 28 — Michel de Certeau
“I do not prefer to speak out loud neither from the inside nor from the outside of the system. I be lieve in a stance, an attitude at the heart, bottom, centre of the situation, much more than I do in polarities. I am in favour of start ing off from the gaps that power has. One of the first to realise this is Herman Melville. Have you read Bartleby? Bartleby says just one thing to power: ‘I prefer not to’. I do not believe that power is a perfectly functioning mechanism. Yes, power is everywhere but with its weaknesses and gaps.” 29 — Ahmet Ögüt
‘Strategic Diagram for Non-hierarchical Participatory Radical Democracy’ (2011) Ahmet Ögüt
and so on – anybody, in short, who is trying and thinking about the possibilities of transforming the system.
The diagram can be a kind of practice board (tabula) to exchange critical ideas. It is an open source diagram,
on which anybody can add their comments or change it by hand.
‘Bag Lady’ (2006-2008) Pilvi Takala Bag Lady is based on a week-long intervention in a shopping mall in Berlin, where the artist went shopping carrying a lot of cash in a transparent plastic bag. Behaving like a perfect customer while doing something to‘Bag Lady’ (2006) – Pilvi Takala – Slideshow, Courtesy of tally wrong, Bag Lady is Galerie Diana Stigter both a security threat “Pilvi Takala (…) her work is about testing and a subject social structures or self-formed ‘menof protecmachines’(…) With almost invisible inter tion. Existing ventions, notable only for insiders of a in both roles particular community, she lifts the cover but fitting in from unwritten rules of a particular place neither, she or community.” 30 challenges the pleasant — Rael Artel and secure shopping atmosphere the social order, where of the mall, especially private property in the the people responsiform of money or prodble for maintaining it. ucts is such a holy cow, This slight intervention that it is under constant sheds controversial intuitive public control. light on the fragility of
Stijn van dorpe
‘KALENDER’ (2009-2010) Benjamin Verdonck Between 3 January 2009 and 2 January 2010, Benjamin Verdonck performed more than 150 actions throughout Antwerp. These actions related to traditional public holidays, the cycle of
‘KALENDER’ (2009-2010) Benjamin Verdonck Photo: Mark Rietveld
the seasons, geopolitical shifts and life as it is. None was a failure. None was a success. KALENDER / WIT translates KALENDER for the white cube. After a successful museum presentation at the M HKA in 2010, a selection of these 365 days of actions in the public space are now on show inside Z33. Material from the action cycle also formed the basis of a stage show
(KALENDER / ZWART - Toneelhuis and KVS) and a future publication.
“For me, KALENDER was, among other things, a research on the intersection between one’s commitment as a citizen, the gesture one makes from this citizenship, and the gesture one makes as an artist. Those gestures un doubtedly follow on each other and are in extricably linked to one another, despite the fact that they differ in the nature of the ges ture. There are the actions of KALENDER, the gestures, and the talking about it afterwards. Within KALENDER I often saw the work as a tool, an instrument to accomplish something. That ‘something’ is what happened as a result of what I had staged or initiated. The work was a sort of catalyst.” 31 — Benjamin Verdonck
“Subversivity was defined as a disruptive atti tude that tries to create openings, possibilities in the ‘closedness’ of a system. (…) Subversivity is not revolution ary thinking and acting, it does not advocate a world revolu tion or upheaval, ‘KALENDER’ (2009-2010) but consists in tem Benjamin Verdonck porary disruptions Photo: Mark Rietveld of states of affairs – generally not the system in its totality. It aims to create space for alterity, for deviance and drifting; a place for taboos, truths which generally must re main hidden, a space for the reality of the abject, for the forbidden, for transgression, the breaking the norms and normality, a space for nonconform ity, a space for the undermining of convention and tradition, the canon.” 32 — Lieven De Cauter
‘International Calling Frequency’ (2011) Minouk Lim International Calling Frequency is a performance that first took place in 2011 in Seoul, featuring a group of participants that formed a temporary community, joining together for a moment of poetic protest. Aimed at creating a unified voice, the musical performance International Calling Frequency has no lyrics, only a melody that addresses those who have experienced a form of exclusion. Following the rules for
manifestations in the public space to the letter, the artist uses these rules to give structure to the performance. Disassociating itself from a call to protest, the romantic humming – not unlike an anthem or lullaby – resonates in one’s mind and brings people together through collective memory. The tune of International Calling Frequency was conceived by artist Minouk Lim in collaboration with composer, musician and singer Minwhee Lee.
“Through dif ferent projects and processes, even if in a modest de gree, Minouk Lim wishes to contribute to a transforma ‘International Calling Frequency’ tion in the way (2011) Minouk Lim society func Photo: Minouk Lim tions, trying, for instance, to change our perception and awareness of the life codes around us. She continuously questions the conventional uses of space, pushing to the edge the potential of alternative uses that can, in turn, contribute towards recording and restructur ing human relations. (…) Minouk Lim’s work is thus closely embed ded to the context that surrounds her as it strongly reflects her own reality as an artist who refuses the dichotomy between art and life.” 33 — Cristina Ricupero
‘International Calling Frequency’ (2011) Minouk Lim – Photo: Minouk Lim
International Calling Frequency Let’s all gather to hum the melody of a seeming anthem Let’s give a place for unheard or forgotten voices through the performance of a melody that brings us together Let’s do it casually, quietly, spontaneously or even in euphoria Let’s do it as we are used to do Friends, families and colleagues The young and the elderly Everybody is welcome to participate International Calling Frequency is the parliament of international voices It sounds like a ritornello and functions as a niche for one’s hopes An ordinary song that offers a universal platform to local concerns It’s an open call To all It respects and accepts singularity, independency, autonomy All the while forming a temporary community
“In order to respond to all these shortcom ings [of our world to day (pol., econ., soc.)], artists take on a bewildering variety of roles. In their projects they act as journalists, philosophers, architects, politicians, and environmental activists - as well as explainers, commentators, eyewitnesses, documentary makers, and voices of warning. In these projects artists suggest alternatives while targeting social, political and economic blights.” 34 — Alain Bieber
‘Mejor Vida Corp. (Better Life Corporation)’ (1998-…) Minerva Cuevas The Mejor Vida Corp. (Better Life Co.) began as a series of public interventions, nourished by a mixture of provocation and hope, in reaction to the context of Mexico City. Items like free subway tickets, barcodes reducing the price of food in the supermarket, letters of recommendation and student identification cards were distributed around the city. While these interventions were not planned as an experi-
aspect of the project is that its products are distributed for free, and despatched anywhere in the world without charge. This practice of handing out gifts without any philanthropic intention signifies an opposition to the notions of commodification and profit. MVC does ‘Mejor Vida Corp.’ (1998 - ...) not conceive of Minerva Cuevas itself as a charity, Photo: Minerva Cuevas dispensing help ment, they evolved into or solutions one: a social and poto everyday litical experiment conproblems. ducted in the arena of Instead, it everyday life. As the analyses MVC web page was specific isbeing created, MVC sues in dideveloped a corporate verse social structure, in which its and ecoactivities were divided nomic coninto categories such texts within as Products, Services, the capitalCampaigns, echoing ist system, those commonly found frequently in commercial websites. targeting its The most conspicuous corporate and institu-
tional monsters, activating the practice of gift giving as premise for the articulation of exchange – a human exchange, social and non-commercial. www.irational.org/mvc
“It is towards interrogating the ethical and political aspect of capitalism’s economic exchange mechanisms – the exploita tion of primi tive capital accumulation to produce a socially exclud ed economic underclass and coercive consumerism – that Cueva’s near-illegal inter ventions in urban advertising and marketing messages are direct ed, largely under the umbrella of Mejor Vida Corp’s counterfeit corporate processes. One might say that Mejor Vida Corpora tion’s counterfeit corporation parasitises the parasitic counter feiters – the corporate peddlers of unrealisable dreams and fake utopias of equality that mask the real inequities of the capitalist system.” 36
“MVC’s ‘camouflaged transgres sions’ are operators that also engage what de Certeau calls a ‘subterranean economy’: paral lel networks of social relations – barter, hospitality, the exchange of nonremunerative services and so forth – that are regarded by capitalist technocracy as worthless, discarded or useless exchanges that cannot (yet) be reduced to is law, but whose role ‘is decisive for the survival of groups or individuals’.” 35 — Jean Fisher
— Jean Fisher
Student ID ‘Mejor Vida Corp.’ (1998 - ...) Minerva Cuevas – Photo: Minerva Cuevas
‘Identity4You’ (2012) Heath Bunting – Courtesy: SKOR | Foundation for Art and Public Domain – Photos: Stefanie Grätz
‘Identity4 You’ (2012) Heath Bunting In Identity4You, Heath Bunting created off-theshelf persons to be put up for sale; new legal identities built up from a
ties are constructed via a network of registrations; loyalty cards, telephone cards, bills, government correspondence, etc. The vaster the network, the stronger the legal identity. With this work, Bunting provides insight into the different networks, databases and systems in society that make up an identity: banks, health care, educa-
Off the shelf natural person - identity kits
portfolio of unique legal relationships. For this work - a continuation of Identity Bureau and the Status Project - Bunting draws on the fact that as a human being one can have many legal identities. These identi-
tion, shops, addresses, etc. It thus becomes clear that identity depends mainly upon administrative systems, rather than personality or even a physical body.
‘FREE TEXTS’ (2012) Stephanie Syjuco These oversized posters include tear-off tabs at the bottom for visitors to remove during
“File sharing and copyright infringement – of media, entertainment, creative works, and intel lectual property – are hot political and cultural topics in a world increasingly seeking to com modify the production and dissemination of ideas and information. The internet has created a seem ingly endless amount of ways in which informa tion can be spread, much to the consternation of copyright holders. Surprisingly, not only mu sic and media are illicitly shared online, but also texts, which are sometimes scanned directly out of books and traded within the academic com munity. A quick internet search can uncover an amazing amount of them, many ironically being themselves about open source culture and copyright. In a much larger context, the fight for access to cultural resources can also be linked to the fight for physical resources, such as in the field of agriculture and bioengineering, where corporations are claim ing patents on genes of plants and animals. This is an urgent and pressing topic that will shape how the future accesses and produces culture.” 37 — Stephanie Syjuco
and its commodification, theories of everyday resistance, capitalism and alternate economies, the history of the commons, and ongoing
‘FREE TEXTS’ (2012) Stephanie Syjuco – Photo: Stephanie Syjuco
their exhibition. Featured texts reflect on the predicament of art
discussions about open source culture. Together, these seemingly disparate topics are united by their online presence and the attempt to give these ideas a tangible
‘Failed States’ coproduction (2012) Jill Magid
shape and distribute them via a distinctly analogue medium – the public flyer. This work is part of a larger, ever-expanding project examining the possibilities / potential of the digital commons, open source distribution, and the limits of copyright law. Many of these texts are uploaded by individuals and made available online - illicitly, since their copyright holders prohibit such sharing. The flyers are meant to be freely distributed, taken, shared, and reprinted as often as necessary. The posters can be printed at any size, and the entire collection can be downloaded in their most up-to-date form at: http://www.stephaniesyjuco.com/freetexts.pdf
“To enter a system I locate the loophole.” — Jill Magid
During a trip to Austin, Texas in preparation of an art project about snipers, artist Jill Magid witnesses an event on the steps of the State Capitol Building. Twentyfour year old Fausto Cardenas fires several rounds in the air before
“I seek intimate relationships with impersonal struc tures. The systems I choose to work with—such as police, secret services, CCTV, and forensic identi fication, function at a distance, with a wide-angle perspective, equalizing everyone and erasing the individual. I seek the potential softness and intimacy of their technologies, the fallacy of their omniscient point of view, the ways in which they hold memory (yet often cease to remember), their engrained posi tion in society (the cause of their invisibility), their authority, their apparent intangibility— and, with all of this, their potential reversibility.” 38
being arrested. The event becomes the background against which Magid, under the guidance of CT – editor at the Texas Observer and former embedded war correspondent for AP – starts her training to become an embedded journalist with the U.S. military in Afghanistan. The nonfiction novel Failed States details the story of Magid’s 18-month search for an entry point into the story, and the meaning of being an In Training. Digital eyewitness. photograph. Photo: CT.
— Jill Magid
2010 – courtesy Yvon Lambert
Failed States (detail.) Magid’s 1993 Mercedes wagon, armored to B4 Level. 2012. Photo: Erica Nix.
To order Failed States: failedstates@ publicationstudio.biz
‘Dow does the right thing’ (2004) The Yes Men
Dow nor UCC ever took to show its true responsibility for the position to ‘rectify’ catastrophe, Bichlbaum the false informamentions his company tion. has finally decided to compensate the victims and to clean up the contaminated soil. Dow only noticed the news item “When it’s over, the studio two hours after technician is happy about the BBC World what she has heard. “What interview. By a nice thing to announce,” that time, it had she says. “I wouldn’t work become world for Dow if I didn’t believe in news. Dow lost it,” replies Andy matter-of2 billion dollars factly.” 39 on the German market and had — the Yes Men
In Dow Does The Right Thing, Andy Bichlbaum of the collective The Yes Men, presents himself as the spokesman for Dow Chemical Company and agrees to do a live interview broadcast at BBC World. Dow took over Union Carbide Corporation, the company that was responsible for the Bhopal gas leak in 1984, in which hundreds of thousands of people were exposed to toxic chemicals. Though ‘Dow Does The Right Thing’ (2004) the Yes Men neither Photo: the Yes Men
‘New York Times Special Edition’ (2008) the Yes Men “We wanted to experience what it would look like, and feel like, to read headlines we really want to read. It’s about what’s possible, if we think big and act collectively,” said Steve Lambert, one of the project’s organizers and an editor of the paper.” 40 ‘New York Times Special Edition’ (2008) the Yes Men Photo: the Yes Men
— the Yes Men
‘Apparition: Tournez Manège, TF1, March 16 1993 (excerpt)’ Matthieu Laurette – Courtesy Matthieu Laurette / www.laurette. net
“Matthieu Laurette has been using TV as both a work-place and a work-tool, by instrumentalizing the ability of this medium to bring together not only means of produc tion and broadcasting, but an audience to boot.” 41 — Pascal Beausse
‘Mobile Information Stand for Moneyback Products’ (1999) Matthieu Laurette
‘The Freebie King’ (2001) Matthieu Laurette Courtesy Matthieu Laurette / www.laurette.net
Matthieu Lau“The art press has often men rette’s Produits tioned Warhol and Debord remboursés/Mon(Society of the Spectacle) when eyback Products speaking of me, something that introduces a syshas always amused me. In 1998, tem enabling him I decided to have a media en to meet his main counter with Guy Debord when needs. His metha satellite TV channel contacted od of consuming me to promote the works of without spending contemporary artists that re is founded on the called May ’68. I did not wish basic marketing to broadcast some Apparitions ‘Apparition: The Freebie system applied by that had already had their time King, Daily record, Glasmajor food corpoin that media and asked them to gow, December 8, 2000 rations. He feeds give me a camera crew special (p.37)’ (2000) – Matthieu himself free of ized in man-in-the-street inter Laurette cost by only ever views at cinema and theatre Courtesy: Matthieu Laubuying products performances. We went along rette / www.laurette.net with the rider: the Champs Elysées asking La Central, Bogota “Satisfied or your passers-by and tourists to read, money back” or “Money without comment, a selection of key phrases by back on first purchase”. Guy Debord I had chosen. (…) Asking tourists He makes the most along the Champs Elysées to read sentences by of invitations from the Debord, pretending to know them by heart, was media to broadcast the my own way of commenting on how the media instructions for his free and art world makes use of Debord today.” 42 consumer system. Simply by systematically — Matthieu Laurette operating an advertising gimmick, Matthieu Laurette symbolically challenges the capitalist mercantile system.
‘What Shall We Do Next?’ (2006 - 2011) Julien Prévieux This animated film is presented as an “archive of gestures to come”. The gestures have to do with patents for the invention of new devices taken out from the United States Patent and Trademark Office from 2006 to 2011. The functioning of these machines — tablets, smartphones, electronic organizers, laptop computers, game consoles, etc.— calls for actions that are specified and copyrighted even though the interface does not yet exist. Observing that technology operates as a prescriber of behaviors it
‘What Shall We Do Next?’ (2006 - 2011) Julien Prévieux Photo: Julien Prévieux
is increas“Prévieux sometimes describes his ingly turnwork as an exercise in ‘counter-pro ing into ductivity’, by which he means a new private resistance strategy. I would be more property, inclined to speak of ‘wilful misuse’, the artist for the primary issue here is the use appropriwe make of things, the way we avail ates the ourselves of them; and this is espe gestures cially true of all systems of control and sepahaving to do with today’s ‘production rates them relationships’. (…) his works are part from their of a form of activism (…).” 43 utilitarian function; — Elie During with a sequence of images that onstration video into a seem to float on the choreographic abstracsurface of the screen, tion. he transforms the dem-
‘The Inadequate (archive)’ (2012) Dora García The Inadequate (Archive), 2012, is the archival installation of the performance and archive project “The Inadequate”, by Dora García for the Spanish pavilion of the Venice Biennial 2011. The Inadequate at the Venice Biennial was an extended performance, made up of objects, conversations, monologues, theatre, silences and debate. The protagonists of this multi-faceted, collective performance – the majority coming from the Italian scene and spanning several generations - are experts in the notion of ‘inadequacy’. They
represent independent, underground, dissident, unofficial, marginal and exiled stances. The Inadequate’s program was put together by Dora García and the “Think Table” (Marco Baravalle, Barbara Casavecchia, Anna
casalva). Totalling more than eighty performers, this extended performance evolved day by day all through the six months of the Biennial, transforming the archive along with each new presentation.
‘The Inadequate (Archive)’ (2012) Dora García – fragment – Photo: Miguel Balbuena
Daneri, Vincenzo de Bellis, Eva Fabbris, Stefano Graziani, Cesare Pietroiusti, Bruna Roc-
“My interest is to try to cre ate critical distance by going deep inside commercial and legal institutions, and I aim to use their material, tools and tactics directly in my work. (…). For example, with many of my law works, I worked with a legal team to develop legal structures that operate at the limits of the law. They are legally valid but often stretch existing notions of the way the law operates and highlight the subjectivity of the law, imply ing it is less rigid than we imagine, or that a kind of unusual subver sion can come from getting this close. (…). The point is to use artistic ideas and methods to alter, discuss and sometimes to reverse the tools and tac tics of business and law.” 44
‘Obsidian Contract’ (2010) Carey Young Obsidian Contract features a legal text written backwards and reflected in a black mirror, a device which has a long tradition within witchcraft and the occult in many cultures, and was also used by landscape painters in the Romantic era to imbue a scene
— Carey Young
with a dramatic tonality. The text proposes the exhibition space visible in the mirror as a new area of publicly-owned land, in which certain activities considered illegal in public space at different times, such as the grazing of animals or sexual activity, are made permissible.
‘Assembly (Mind the System, Find the Gap)’ commission (2012) Agency
‘Obsidian Contract’ (2010) Carey Young – Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Alex Wolkowicz
For Assembly (Mind the System, Find the Gap), Agency calls forth a selection from its list of things, speculating on the question: “How can commons get included within art practices?” Many crafts get classified by default as commons. The design of useful articles, no matter how satisfying, get exempted of copyright protection as works of art. Intellectual property law defines a useful article
Thing 000892 (Liza) In November 1986, Leo Passage, founder of Pivot Point, a company developing educational techniques and tools for hair designers since 1965, developed a mannequin for hair design competitions that was supposed to resemble the “hungry look” of runway models. Passage commissioned Horst Heerlein, a German artist, to sculpt a female human head for the mannequin. From Passage’s description, Heerlein created a sculpture in plaster entitled Mara. The mold of Mara was sent to Pivot Point’s manufacturer in Hong Kong. In May 1988, Pivot Point received its first shipment of PVC mannequins and obtained a copyright registration for the bareheaded female human head with no makeup or hair. Mara enjoyed great success and Pivot Point began making Mara with different types and lengths of hair, different skin tones and variations in makeup. For instance, Mara mannequin implanted with yak hair was called Sonja, and implanted with blonde hair was called Karin. However, no alterations were made to the facial features of the mannequin. In 1989, Charlene Products, a wholesaler of beauty products founded by Peter Yau a former Pivot Point employee, displayed its Liza mannequin. Charlene Products eventually obtained a copyright registration for this mannequin. On September 24, 1989, Pivot Point noticed Charlene Products for copyright infringement on the grounds that Charlene Products based the facial features of Liza on Pivot Point’s Mara mannequin. When Charlene Products refused to stop selling Liza mannequin, Pivot Point filed action. On October 2, 2001, during the court case Pivot Point v. Charlene Products at the United States District Court of Illinois judge Easterbrook stated: “[...] The principal dispute is whether a human mannequin head is copyrightable subject matter. [...] Mara can be copyrighted insofar as [its] form but not [its] mechanical or utilitarian aspects are concerned - and then only to the extent that [its ...] sculptural features that can be identified separately from, and are capable of existing independently of, the utilitarian aspects of the article. [...] Pivot Point insists that its copyright is not limited to the precise features that Mara exemplifies. Mara is just one of many designs that Pivot
thing 000868 (Liza)
Point offers. It sells ‘Madeline’ with long blonde hair, ‘Sonja’ with angora yak hair, versions with Asian and African facial features, and a dozen other variations; all are within the ‘Mara’ copyright, Pivot Point believes, because the facial features of these mannequins all have the same aesthetic qualities as Mara. This demonstrates that Pivot Point wants to copyright a style of mannequin, and no sensible reading of the 1976 Act permits that step. Pivot Point responds that it claims copyright only in Mara’s nose, eyes, musculature, and so on, and that every face is unique, but if this is so then Liza does not infringe. Liza has a face that differs from Mara’s. [...] Mara is not copyrightable subject matter and the copyright registration therefore is invalid. [...]” Charlene Products appealed. On June 25, 2004, during the court case Pivot Point v. Charlene Products at United States Court of Appeals judge Ripple stated: “[...] Mara is a useful article [...] A useful article falls within the definition of pictorial, graphic or sculptural works only if, and only to the extent that, such design incorporates pictorial, graphic, or sculptural features that can be identified separately from, and are capable of existing independently of, the utilitarian aspects of the article. [...] [W]e must conclude that the Mara face is subject to copyright protection. It certainly is not difficult to conceptualize a human face, independent of all of Mara’s specific facial features, i.e., the shape of the eye, the upturned nose, the angular cheek and jaw structure, that would serve the utilitarian functions of a hair stand and, if proven, of a makeup model. Indeed, one is not only able to conceive of a different face than that portrayed on the Mara mannequin, but one easily can conceive of another visage that portrays the ‘hungry look’ on a high-fashion runway model.” The court reversed the first decision and concluded that the face of Mara met the requirements for conceptual separability and fell under copyright protection as a work of art.
‘Assembly (Mind The System, Find The Gap)’ (2012) Agency – Photos: Agency
as “having an intrinsic utilitarian function that is not merely to portray the appearance of the article or to convey information.” The design of a useful article is considered artistic only if, and only to the extent that, such design incor-
porates pictorial, graphic or sculptural features that can be identified separately from, and are capable of existing independently of the utilitarian aspects of the article. A selection of things will convene an assembly at Mind the
System, Find the Gap at Z33 in order to bear witness to this question. Agency is the generic name of a Brusselsbased agency that was founded in 1992 by Kobe Matthys.
‘Tablescape’ commission (2003…) Christiane Högner
Tablescape is an abstracted piece of furniture. Built according to the OpenStructures grid, it performs a combination of functions and forms a hybrid, resulting from the cross between oversized furniture and microarchitecture. In the exhibition Mind the System, Find the Gap, a Tablescape-
‘Tablescape’ (2003-...) Christiane Högner Photo: Kristof Vrancken
installation is used as a lounge, comprising diverse functions such as sitting platforms, exhibition space and clustered terraces of different heights. Some smaller Tablescape-clusters form signalisation elements throughout the exhibition on the Z33 site, and also the benches inside the exhibition spaces are Tablescape furniture.
strict rules. By refusing to give in on these rules, the weaknesses of the design system are systematically exposed: thumbnails cover page numbers, words are sometimes ‘Graphic Design Mind The System, oddly aligned, Find The Gap’ (2012) Niek Kosten etc. By working Photo: Niek Kosten with, or deliberately refusing standard conventions, Kosten seeks to question the graphic medium and form as part of a system as well as to elaborate on the traditional structures and systems of graphic design.
‘GRAPHIC design mind the system, find the gap’ (2012) Niek Kosten Graphic designer Niek Kosten developed a graphic communication system for Mind the System, Find the Gap. The design is characterised by a set of
1 – Tadashi Kawamata, Brochure Text: Interview with Kawamata by Linda Genereux, 1989, Source: http://www. mercerunion.org/archive95/277.html 2 – Monty DiPietro, Tadashi Kawamata at Galerie Deux, 1999, Source: http://www.assemblylanguage.com/ reviews/kawamata.html 3 – With special thanks to Mrs. Irene Piepenbrock. 4 – Karl Philips, Plooien in de marge. Pragmatisme in een gestructureerde maatschappij, 2008-2009, p.21 5 – Onomatopee, Karl Philips. Every social solution is the creation of a new problem. In publicatie Onomatopee 65: Research project Act / OUT, A call for contact, a call for a clash, Source: http:// www.flacc.info/en/pro-
jecten/2011/41 6 – Onomatopee, Karl Philips. Every social solution is the creation of a new problem. In publicatie Onomatopee 65: Research project Act / OUT, A call for contact, a call for a clash, Source: http:// www.flacc.info/en/projecten/2011/41 7 – Florian Ebner, The Sense and Will of the Body - The Abstraction of the Image, in Ed. F. Ebner, E. Schneider, Sebastian Stumpf - a way, 2011, p. 129 8 – Elie During, Wilful Misuse, 2009 9 – Jan Verwoert, How Everything Moves Apart. On Esther Stocker’s works. In Esther Stocker, 2006, p. 141 10 – Silvia Eiblmayr, Foreword. In Esther Stocker, 2006, p.6
11 – Jeremy Hunt, The Fourth Plinth: Elmgreen & Dragset. Powerless Structures, Fig.101, 2012, source: http:// aajpress.wordpress. com/2012/02/23/thefourth-plinth-elmgreendragset-powerlessstructures-fig-101/ 12 – Hans Ulrich Obrist, Performative constructions. Interview by Hans Ulrich Obrist. Originally published in “Powerless Structures”, catalogue, 1998, Source: http://www.nicolaiwallner.com/texts.php ?action=details&id=64 13 – Gaston Bachelard, The poetics of space, 1958, p. xxxvii 14 – Option Lots – Eine Recherche von brandlhuber, ARCH+ 201/202, 2010, source : http://www.archplus. net/home/archiv/artikel/46,3600,1,0.html 15 – Quote Jaime Davi-
dovich in Odd Lots. Revisiting Gordon MattaClark’s Fake Estates, p.46 16 – Cuauhtémoc Medina, Extravagant Urbanism, In Reforma. México D.F. 26.06.2009 17 – Jordi Colomer, Avenida Ixtapaluca (Houses for Mexico). Fragment of interview by Bea Espejo, El Mundo, 18.09.2009, Madrid, Spain 18 – Martí Peran, After Architecture, 2009. 19 – Alain de Botton, The architecture of Happiness, 2006, pp. 163-164. 20 – Georges Perec (transl. John Sturrock), Species of Space and Other Pieces, 1998, in Anne Holtrop, Trail House 2009, p. 1 21 – Kirsten Algera, Chemin du désir, In
Anne Holtrop, Trail House, 2009, p.47
The Practice of Everyday Life, 1984, p. 38
22 – Christine Vuegen, Short Cut Leuven (Cat.), STUK, 2011, pp. 5-6
29 – Conversation Sezgin Boynik & Ahmet Ögüt, Letter from Themroci, published in: Halil Altindere (ed.), Ahmet Ögüt: Informal Incidents, art-ist contemporary Art Series-9, Artist Book, 2008.
23 – Liz Haines, ‘Uneasy Encounters’, Code Magazine Issue 9, Spring 2009, pp. 4-7 24 – Quote by Stijn Van Dorpe, source: http:// transit.be/artists/Stijn_ Van_Dorpe/text.php 25 – Francis Smets, Wat Hansje niet leert…, 2010, source: http:// transit.be/artists/Stijn_ Van_Dorpe/text.php 26 – FP, Yto Barrada, in: La Biennale di Venezia, Think with the Senses / Feel with the Mind (Cat.), 2007, p. 26
30 – Rael Artel, Modestly checked boundaries, Published on the occasion of “Wallflower”-exhibition in TAZ-Tallinn, 2007 31 – Tina Ameel, Interview Benjamin Verdonck, 2010, source: http:// www.urbanmag.be/ artikel/1632/interviewbenjamin-verdonck
27 – Okwui Enwezor, Friedhelm Hütte, Marie Muracciole, Yto Barrada: Riffs, 2011
32 – Lieven De Cauter, Ruben De Roo & Karel Vanhaesebrouck (eds.), Art and Activism in the Age of Globalization, 2011, p. 9
28 – Michel de Certeau,
33 – Cristina Ricupero,
Minouk Lim’s Art of Life, Hermes Korea Missulsang, 2007, source: http://www.minouklim. com/index.php?/review/minouk-lims-artof-life/
34 – Alain Bieber, Robert Klanten, Matthias Hübner,… (eds.), Art & Agenda. Political Art and Activism, 2011, p. 51.
40 – The Yes Men, New York Times Special Edition, 2008, Source: http://theyesmen.org/ hijinks/newyorktimes
35 – Jean Fisher, Minerva Cuevas and the Art of Para-sitic Intervention, in: Afterall 27, Summer 2011, p. 60 36 – Jean Fisher, Minerva Cuevas and the Art of Para-sitic Intervention, in: Afterall 27, Summer 2011, pp. 58-59 37 – Stephanie Syjuco, FREE TEXTS, Project Background, 2011 38 – Jill Magid, Introduction to my work, Source: http://www.
39 – The Yes Men, Dow Does The Right Thing, 2004, Source: http:// theyesmen.org/hijinks/ bbcbhopal
41 – Pascal Beausse, in: La Biennale di Venezia (Cat.), 2001 42 – Matthieu Laurette interviewed by Jérôme Sans, Guy Debord is so cool!, 2006 43 – Elie During, Wilful Misuse, 2009 44 – Dieter Buchart & Gerald Nestler, Interview with Carey Young. First published in Kunstforum International, Art and Economy Issue, Vol 200, 2010, Source: http://www.careyyoung. com/essays/Kunstfo-
AHMET ÖGÜT Original text in English
Ahmet Ögüt was born in Diyarbakir, Turkey, and lives in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. His recent and forthcoming shows (solo) include a/o: Modern Essays 1: Across the Slope at SALT in Istanbul (TR), Once upon a time a clock-watcher during overtime hours at Fondazione Giuliani in Rome, Stones to throw at Kunsthalle Lissabon in Lissabon (PT) and Speculative Social Fantasies at CASCA in Adelaide (AU). His work is/was also on view (group) in a/o the 12th Istanbul Biennial, the 4th Moscow Biennial “Rewriting Worlds”, the 2011 Asian Art Biennial in Tachun (RC) and The Walls That Divide Us at Apexart in New York (USA). Some of his upcoming exhibitions are Moving for Wards Counting Back Wards at MUAC in Mexico City, TRACK in Ghent (B) and Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity at MCA in Chicago (USA).
AHMET ÖGÜT Original text in English
Strategic Diagram for Non-hierarchical Participatory Radical Democracy Why not try to create a strategic diagram for non-hierarchical participatory radical democracy? It is a kind of strategic road map that is also trying to answer the question: What is our practice actually about? When I say us, I mean all mediators: curators, artists, cultural producers, activists, political ‘hacktivists’, revolutionaries, ontological anarchists, historians, social scientists and so on—anybody, in short, who is trying and thinking about the possibilities of transforming the system. I thought it might be interesting to think together about this diagram from a critical perspective. It can be a kind of practice board (tabula) to exchange critical ideas. I want it to become an open source diagram, anybody can print it, add their comments or change it by hand. After that they can send it to somebody else whom they might think would like to contribute a critical response. Who is in charge? The diagram represents the authoritative structure as a process, not something completed and possessing a consistent speed. Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt name the new hegemony “Empire” to imply a novel form of power that is beyond borders. It doesn’t consist of physical borders and is established during the collapse of nation-state imperialism. Empire, Power, System, Authority, State, Government, Status quo, etc. as hegemonic structures are often strong but slow because of bureaucracy; therefore autonomy is not so much found on a permanent basis but exists in the gaps left by the slow pace of official force. By choosing the proper speed one can disrupt a fixed worldview ever so slightly, allowing the possibility of thinking things differently. Non-hierarchical participatory radical democracy (NHPRD) as I call it here, is central to the diagram. Channels of power shape and surround N-HPRD and give life to a
constructed reality that contained within the hegemonic system. Hegemonic structure is never a perfectly organized system; it has its own failures and complexity. That is why in this diagram the edges and borders lines encircling the scheme are not connected. The unconnected edges of this constructed reality as a hegemonic system represents the gaps and cracks in any given system. What could be our strategic tools? Time, Speed, Distance: The distance is a very important factor, because with different distances things can look or sound fictional or real, if you are far away from something it becomes fiction, or if you are closer to something it appears more real: but this doesn’t mean that the thing is fiction or real. We can use distance as a kind of tool given the fact that distance is a relative. If you are fast the distance is short and that means that you are closer to that central reality, which is why it is very important how we envision time and speed as distances collapse often to the advantage of existing hegemonic systems. As a literal example we can talk about one of the first micronation: Sealand, established in 1967. It was located approximately six miles from the coast of Suffolk, outside the threemile territorial water claim of the United Kingdom and therefore in international waters. However on October 1st, 1987, Britain extended its territorial waters from 3 to 12 nautical miles. The previous day, the founder of Sealand, Roy Bates (Prince Roy) declared the extension of Sealand’s territorial waters to be a corresponding 12 nautical miles off of its shore, so that right of way from the open sea to Sealand would not be compromised by British-claimed waters. According to general maritime policy, dividing the area between the two countries down the middle can be assumed. Britain has no more right to Sealand’s territory than Sealand has to the territory of the British coastline that falls within its claimed 12 nautical mile arc. 1 Prince Roy was one day (time) faster (speed) than Britain in extending (distance) Sealand’s territo-
AHMET ÖGÜT Original text in English
rial waters. Although Sealand is not a recognized nation, it is still treated as an independent state by the British government. Reconstructing the recent history: We don’t have so much to say about the ‘far history’ because we don’t have access to factual accounts or alternative records providing counterfactuals no longer exist, but when it comes to recent history it may be a different story. In an interview with Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman, Jullian Assange emphasizes that what is important is someone’s right to speak and someone’s right to know, which together produce a right to communicate. He continues by saying that “the quest to protect the historical record and enable everyone to be a contributor to the historical record is something that I have been involved in for about 20 years, in one way or another.” 2 Similar to Assange’s approach to the historical record, in an interview with Önder Özengi, I myself said that we should all take initiative by individually constructing narratives that can exist in parallel and allow for a rhizomatic notion of history.3 This is to say that our individual memories can access recent history as new potential and can be, conversely, manipulated by the status quo—by what we are collectively taught to remember. For example, in my home country, coming face to face with the recent history of Turkey means doing so only through lapses in time. The laws that have been in effect for many years turn the recent past into the distant past. In other words, recently lived history is shelved and the process of coming into contact with history becomes a process of delayed potential. This delay or lapse in time not only systematically erases critical actors from the scene but also erases them from the social memory. One the last point, allow me to say a few words about the Saturday Mothers of Turkey, who have been searching for their lost children for years, and the 103-year old Nana Berfo. During Turkey’s military coup in 1980, while Nana Berfo’s home was under siege her son, Cemil Kırbayır, was
arrested. She hasn’t heard from Cemil since. Nonetheless, she still holds out the hope that he may return to her one day, and for thirty years, she has kept her door open in case he returns home. I don’t see this prolonged wait as a helpless or moot gesture. Nana Berfo has turned this memorializing ritual into a part of her daily life, which thereby fights against the powerful force of forgetting that inevitably occurs over time.4 In 2005, for the 9th Istanbul Biennial, Michael Blum made fictional museum project A Tribute to Safiye Behar. This artwork managed to generate a public conversation that was previously taboo within the context of the official historical record of modern Turkey. According to Blum’s story, Safiye Behar was born in Pera, Istanbul, in 1890. She studied Marx, Proudhon and other socialist and anarchist writers. She became a well-respected labor organizer and public speaker, supporter of the Free-Thinking Movement and an advocate of women’s rights. Eventually, she became the first English translator of Nazim Hikmet.5 The most curial statement of Behar’s story was that Blum claimed that she had a relationship with Mustafa Kemal over a period of three decades. The artist asserted that, although her role has never been aknowledged publicly, she was the inspiration of many of Mustafa Kemal’s reforms in the 1920’s. Blum’s work consisted of a reconstruction of Safiye’s original apartment and a comprehensive display of personal and official documents, photographs, letters and books. This was a quite controversial work that raised many questions in part because many people took it is a true story (at least for a while).6 Fiction/Illusion Constructed reality is a kind of fiction manipulated by the status quo. Given this reliance on fiction, we can still find ways of productive possibility of fiction in reality. Fiction can create a moment of illusion when we can change the appearance of reality for a brief instant. This may not last long, but still that special moment can shift the processes of reality as it is usually constructed.
AHMET ÖGÜT Original text in English
In 1938, 21-year old Orson Welles famously caused a public disturbance when he directed and narrated The War of the Worlds as an episode of the American radio drama anthology series that aired nightly over the CBS Radio network. The first two thirds of the 60-minute broadcast were presented as a series of simulated “news bulletins” reporting that an actual alien invasion by Martians was in progress. Immediately following the broadcast, newspapers such as New York Times indicated that many radio listeners were in panic, taking Welles’ radio drama as fact. Later print journalists took the opportunity to suggest that radio was a dangerous medium due in part to its new potential to fictionalize reality as it is routinely constructed over the airwaves.7 Image Fulgurator, by scientist, activist and artist Julius von Bismarck is an impressive example of what we are talking about. The Image Fulgurator is a device that can physically manipulate other people’s photographs in the act. Fulgurator operates via a kind of reactive flash projection that enables an image to be projected on an object exactly at the moment when someone else is photographing it. His intervention is an inconspicuous distortion taking only a few milliseconds for its intervention. He, for example, projected an iconic dove painted by Belgian Surrealist René Magritte on the Mao Zedong portrait at Tiananmen Square in Beijing. He also projected the image of a crucifix on the podium where Barack Obama gave a speech in Berlin in the summer of 2008. Autonomy (Self-Organization) When we start talking about Autonomy one should start with referring Hakim Bey’s TAZ (Temporary Autonomous Zone). TAZ is a form of nomadic agency that moves constantly in space and time. So when the authorities arrive it can be already somewhere else. In this sense it doesn’t exist on the map and is difficult to be targeted. TAZ was first put into practice on a large scale by the Cacophony Society,8 which was inspired by the Dada, Lettrists and the Situationist International movements. Today we can talk about Flash Mob or Improve Everywhere as examples that
are organized mostly via social media, although they mostly stay on the ludic side of social disturbance. In 2006 there was a group called Yuzde 52 (52%) in Turkey. They did a few controversial actions and their acts were ironic, but also taken quite serious by some. In few actions they were wearing V for Vendetta masks to symbolize their anonymous movement. At that time there was no Global Financial Crisis or Arab Spring happened yet. Now a very similarly a global movement started by groups all round the world and call themselves as 99% also often wearing V for Vendetta masks. As Naomi Klein said recently in her speech at Liberty Plaza at Occupy Wall Street, where the movement started, “being horizontal and deeply democratic is wonderful.”9 When OWS started in a likeminded way as a non-violence movement with no leaders. The anonymity of the movement immediately prompts a question and J.J. Charlesworth is one of the ones asking it; In the privileging of political form over content, in their obsession with process rather than outcome, are the current movements busy turning politics into “something like an aesthetic”?10 The question is should we have an immediate overarching dogma and do we really have other examples that are actually taking it to the next steps? In 2006, the artist group Superflex published the book Self-Organization/Counter-economic Strategies, which chronicled the many alternative approaches of social and economic organizations. It included: the Recovered Factory movement in Argentina where about 200 companies were recovered (occupied) by their workers and turned into cooperatives; the Grameen Bank microfinance initiative in Bangladesh, founded in 1974, and almost wholly owned by its barrowers; Ithaca Hours, a local currency system publicly accepted by over 900 participants, local employers and employees for goods and services in Ithaca New York. The book focuses on many practical examples of self-organization and alternative forms of cooperation being made possible by advancements in thinking, technology and social structure. All examples in the book are independent of institutional or corporate structures, non-hierarchical and operate open to participatory decision-making processes.11
AHMET ÖGÜT Original text in English
Ironically enough, Alexei Monroe comes up with term “The Temporary Hegemonic Zone” to analyze the strategies of Laibach Kunst one of the founding groups of the NSK (Neue Slowenische Kunst). The other founding groups were IRWIN, and Scipion Našice Sisters Theater.12 Shortly after the collapse of socialism and the break-up of Yugoslavia in war, at the beginning of 1992 the artistic collective NSK transformed from an organization to a State in Time. It emerged at a moment when a radical rethinking of the nation-state was necessary, and yet it did not manifest itself geopolitically. NSK State in Time’s first temporary embassy was opened in Moscow. They also openened temporary embassies in Tirana, Zagreb and Berlin. In 1995 NSK State in Time openned their Sarajevo office where they set up a Passport Office, which over the course of the event issued over few hundreds NSK passports. The event was the best-attended cultural event in Sarajevo since the war began. This symbolic ID card later became functional. Many Bosnians actually used NSK passports to be able to go out of the country. Currently for NSK State in Time the Nigerian question has emerged. Nigerian citizens seemingly started to take the State in Time more seriously than it takes itself. They received thousands of applications from Nigeria, some in the belief that a NSK passport can provide entry into the European Union. Epilogue We can talk about gaps and lapses as a kind of strategic opportunity; and around the nucleus of power one can see the slightly less visible arrows as a kind of ecosystem; they are circulating and they are moving, connecting the strategic tools (time / speed / distance, recent history, autonomy, fiction / illusion etc.). By using these strategic tools diagrammatically one can begin to go through the actual gaps and fissures to reach the possibility of non-hierarchical participatory radical democracy in its unlimited, new and undiscovered forms. As Conor McGrady says, “Perhaps the constitution of a truly radical artistic practice today lies in its ability to intervene
socially and to generate unpredictable outcomes.”13 I would take that one step further and remove the word perhaps. Today not only artists but all self-appointed mediators should see the positive potentials of using the kinds of cracks or gaps mentioned above as inroads unsettling the hegemonic system. 1 Source: http://www.sealandgov.org/history.html 2 Excerpt from the conversation with WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange and Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek, moderated by Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman. . http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2011/7/5/watch_full_video_of _wikileaks_julian_assange_philosopher_slavoj_iek_with_amy_goodman 3 Excerpt from “Memory is not dead, but it is often comatose” a conversation between Ahmet Ögüt & Önder Özengi. Published in the catalogue Ricochet # 4, published by Museum Villa Stuck, Munich, November 2010. 4 Another version of this comment published in Fillip Magazine, isssue No 14, Summer 2011, Between the Scaffold and the Ruin, a conversation between Berin Golonu and Ahmet Ögüt 5 Nazim Hikmet, was a famous poet from Turkey. He was described as a “romantic communist”. He spent much of his life in prison and in exile. In 2009 Turkey restored the citizenship of Nazim Hikmet over 50 years after it branded him a traitor. 6 http://www.blumology.net/safiyebehar.html 7 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_War_of_the_Worlds_(radio_drama) 8 http://www.cacophony.org/intro.html 9 The Nation, Naomi Klein, Occupy Wall Street: The Most Important Thing in the World Now. 10 J.J. Charlesworth, Art Review, December, 2011 11 Self-Organization/counter-economic strategies, initiated by Superflex, Sternberg Press, 2006 12 Thanks to Borut Vogelnik (IRWIN) for his extensive lecture about the NSK State in Time that he gave at the Dutch Art Institute as our guest for the seminar Situating Artistic Practice Today (Steven ten Thije/Ahmet Ögüt) 13 by Conor McGrady, The State as utopian Gesamtkunstwerk, http://www.brooklynrail.org
First published in GAGARIN volume 12 #2, November 2011 Graphical concept: Casier/Fieuws
Agency (1992-, INT.) ‘Assembly (Mind the System, Find the Gap)’ commission (2012) Atelier Van Lieshout (1995, NL) ‘Insect Farm’ commission (2012) www.ateliervanlieshout. com Shigeo Anzaï (1939, JP) ‘Tokyo Project: New Housing Plan, Tokyo’ (1998) Yto Barrada (1971, FR/MA) ‘The Smuggler’ (2006) www.ytobarrada.com Heath Bunting (1966, GB) ‘Identity4You’ (2012) http://irational.org/cgibin/cv2/temp.pl Jordi Colomer (1962, ES) ‘Avenida Ixtapaluca’ (Houses for Mexico) (2009) www.jordicolomer.com
Minerva Cuevas (1975, MX) ‘Mejor Vida Corp.’ (Better Life Corporation) (1998-…) www.irational.org/min erva/projects.html Jaime Davidovich (1936, AR/US) ‘Reality Properties: Fake Estates. Queens Project’ (1975) www.eai.org Elmgreen and Dragset (1961-1968, DK/N) ‘Powerless Structures, Fig. 136’ (2002) www.perrotin.com www.nicolaiwallner.com Leandro Erlich (1973, AR) ‘Window and Ladder, Too Late for Help’ (2008) www.leandroerlich.com Dora García (1965, ES) ‘The Inadequate (Archive)’ (2012) www.doragarcia.net Simon Gush (1981, ZA)
‘3 Point Turn’ (in collaboration with Dorothee Kreutzfeldt) (2007) www.simongush.net Christiane Högner (1974, D/BE) ‘Tablescape’ commission (2012) www.lofi-studio.com Anne Holtrop (1977, NL) ‘Trail House’ (2009) www.anneholtrop.nl Tadashi Kawamata (1953, JP) ‘Begijnhof St. Elizabeth, Kortrijk’ (1989-1990) ‘Tokyo Project: New Housing Plan, Tokyo’ (1998) www.tk-onthetable.com Niek Kosten (1986, BE) Graphic design Mind the System, Find the Gap (2012) www.niekkosten.be Matthieu Laurette (1970, FR) ‘Mobile Information Stand for Moneyback Products’
(1999) www.laurette.net Minouk Lim (1968, KOR) ‘International Calling Frequency’ (2011) www.minouklim.com Jill Magid (1973, US) ‘Failed States’ co-production (2012) www.jillmagid.net Gordon Matta-Clark (1943, US) ‘Reality Properties Fake Estates Glendale Sliver (behind houses), Block 3660, Lot 140’ (1973-1974) www.davidzwirner.com Ahmet ÖGüt (1981, TU) ‘Strategic Diagram for Non-hierarchical Participatory Radical Democracy’ (2011) www.ahmetogut.com Karl Philips (1984, BE) ‘Renault Trafic’ (2011) ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ commission (2012)
(1974, FR) ‘What Shall We Do Next?’ (2006-2011) www.previeux.net Esther Stocker (1974, IT) ‘Based on a Grid’ commission (2012) www.estherstocker.net Sebastian Stumpf (1980, D) ‘Sukima’ (2009) ‘Performance #26’ commission (2012) www.galeriekleindienst.de Stephanie Syjuco (1974, US) ‘FREE TEXTS’ (2012) www.stephaniesyjuco. com Pilvi Takala (1981, FI/NL) ‘Bag Lady’ (2006-2008) www.pilvitakala.com Pablo Valbuena (1978, ES) ‘re-flex [z33]’ commission (2012) www.pablovalbuena.com
Stijn Van Dorpe (1970, BE) ‘Children, buckets’ (2007) ‘Assimilation (drawings)’ (2009-…) ‘Assimilation (hommage to Robert Ryman)’ (2010) ‘Stilleven, volumes’ commission (2012) www.stijnvandorpe.be Benjamin Verdonck (1972, BE) ‘KALENDER’ (2009-2010) www.benjamin-verdonck. be Katleen Vermeir (1973, BE) ‘Waterdrawing’ (letter to Ronny Heiremans) (1999) ‘Liquid Architecture’ (1999) www.katleenvermeir.be The Yes Men (US) ‘Dow Does The Right Thing’ (2004) www.theyesmen.org Carey Young (1970, US/GB) ‘Obsidian Contract’ (2010) www.careyyoung.com
More than an exhibition. Mind the System, find the Gap is more than just an exhibition. Z33 organises guided tours through the exhibition: free mini-tours where a guide gives a brief introduction to the exhibition, but also interactive group tours. A new initiative, coined Kiss the Curator, allows you to visit ‘Mind the System, Find the Gap’, following in the footsteps of the curator. You experience the story of the exhibition first hand, and conclude your visit to Z33 with a Sunday aperitif. In summer, Z33 organizes film screenings in collaboration with Zebracinema in the garden of the Beguinage site of Hasselt. On 26 and 27 July 2012, Z33 organizes a two-
day workshop in view of the presentation of Heath Bunting’s work ‘Identity4You’. This workshop will be led by Heath Bunting and An Mertens and is organised in cooperation with FoAM. Z33 works together with ‘Theater op de Markt’, an open-air theatre festival in the centre of Hasselt (9 to 12 August 2012). From 17 until 21 September 2012, at the start of the new academic year, Z33 is organising a number of kickoff workshops for Master students of various disciplines within the MAD-faculty, the Media, Arts and Design Faculty in Limburg. For a week, the students can reflect on the subject matter as presented in Mind the System, Find the Gap with some of its featuring artists.
In addition to these activities we also provide an educational offer for children, parents and teachers. With the ‘Kijkwijzer’, children (9+) old can go treasure-hunting while at the same time discovering the artworks. Children who find the treasure take home a nice souvenir. For (parents with) young children aged 6-10, Z33 also offers a playful tool, the ‘Kinderblik’, containing fun materials to explore the exhibition in a playful and creative way. Children aged 9-12 can participate in one of our art workshops and become ‘Artist for a day’ (24 until 27 July 2012). Teenagers from 13 until 15 years old can get wrapped up in diverse exciting Street Art-techniques, led by DinDin, a famous street artist. This workshop takes place from
30 July until 2 August 2012. Last but not least, Z33 is organising two guided tours for teachers, free of cost, on Wednesday 6 June and Saturday 8 September 2012. Teachers (of both primary and secondary education) can prepare their visit to Mind the System, Find the Gap and afterwards incorporate it in their classes using the teacherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s file, offered by Z33. For further information about these activities, please visit our website www.z33.be.
The Z33 exhibition building Vleugel â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;58 was build in 1958 Photo: Z33 / Kristof Vrancken
Z33 is a house for contemporary art.
Z33 is based at the beguinage site in Hasselt Photo: Z33 / Kristof Vrancken
Since 2002, Z33 has been organising projects and exhibitions that encourage visitors to see everyday things in a new way. A unique laboratory and a meeting place for experimentation and innovation, this is the place to be when it comes to unique exhbitions of contemporary art and design. The name Z33 comes from its location, Zuivelmarkt 33, the site of the historical beguinage in the city of Hasselt.
strong social orientation, addressing topical themes from various artistic standpoints with a critical eye (e.g. Designing Critical Design, 2007; 1% Water, 2008; Thomas Lommée OpenStructures, 2009; Design by Performance, 2010; Alter Nature, 2010; Architecture of Fear, 2011). Each project combines an exhibition with an extensive programme of related events.
Z33 does not have a permanent collection of its own, but rather an ongoing programme of temporary exhibitions. Each year, Z33 presents three large and three smaller exhibition projects. These exhibitions Exhibition views at Vleugel ‘58: always Kris Verdonck – EXHIBITION #1 have a Photo: Z33 / Kristof Vrancken
In addition to special guides exhibitions, for children aged Z33 organ6–10 and 10–14, ises artistic and creative sesprojects in sions for children public spacin the Z-lab, the es. These educational area of large-scale the Z33. Children projects and teenagers can bring confollow creative art temporary workshops at Z33 art out into three times per the public year during the Gijs Van Vaerenbergh – ‘Reading between the in Belgian school holidays: Lines’ – Photo: Z33 / Kristof Vrancken Limburg. Kunstenaar voor The first project in this For each exhibition, 1 Dag (9–12 years) or series is pit – art in the Z33 develops a tailored Kunztlab (13–15 years). public space of Borprogramme for families, gloon-Heers. teachers, teenagers Z33 also serves as a cu- and chilrator for exhibitions by dren, aimed external parties, such at individuas Emmy+Gijs+Aldo in als as well the Zuiderzeemuseum as groups. in Enkhuizen, Food Groups can Forward in Stroom Den book guided Haag, the Cabinet of tours around Curiosities from Beleach exhibigium for Europe for the tion, and free cabinet of the European mini-tours Results of creative workshops for Council president, Herare provided children and teens man Van Rompuy and on Saturday Photo: Z33 / Kristof Vrancken The Machine in C-Mine and Sunday Genk. afternoons. There are
Art is more than just something you can look at. Good art makes you look in a different way, experience in a different way, think differently and sometimes it even makes you act differently. Art is not optional. Art moves you. Art can change the world.
This catalogue is published on the occasion of the eponymous exhibition ‘Mind the System, Find the Gap’ from the 3th of June till the 30th of September 2012 at Z33 – house for contemporary art.
Text Evelien Bracke (Z33), Ils Huygens (Z33), Karen Verschooren (Z33), Ahmet Ögüt Design Niek Kosten Translation Liesbet Piessens Printing Drukkerij Pietermans
Zuivelmarkt 33 B-3500 Hasselt t +32 (0)11 29 59 60 f +32 (0)11 29 59 61 firstname.lastname@example.org www.z33.be
Font Helvetica Neue LT Std 65 Paper Grey paperboard 450 g (cover), Munken Polar Rough 120 g Publisher Jan Boelen, Z33 Legal DeposiT D/2012/5857/29
Z33 is an initiative of the Province of Limburg, Culture delegate Gilbert Van Baelen and is supported by the Flemish Community.
© Z33 — All rights reserved. Nothing from this publication may be multi-plied, saved in an automated data file or published, in any form or way (electronically, mechanically, by copying, recording, photographing or in any other way) without prior written authorisation from the publisher.
Z33 would like to thank: Agency (INT), Atelier Van Lieshout (NL), Shigeo Anzaï (JP), Yto Barrada (FR/MA), Heath Bunting (GB), Jordi Colomer (ES), Minerva Cuevas (MX), Jaime Davidovich (AR/US), Elmgreen & Dragset (DK/N), Leandro Erlich (AR), Dora García (ES), Simon Gush (ZA), Christiane Högner (D/ BE), Anne Holtrop (NL), Tadashi Kawamata (JP), Matthieu Laurette (FR), Minouk Lim (KOR), Jill Magid (US), Gordon Matta-Clark (US), Ahmet Ögüt (TU), Karl Philips (BE), Julien Prévieux (FR), Esther Stocker (IT), Sebastian Stumpf (D), Stephanie Syjuco (US), Pilvi Takala (FI/NL), Pablo Valbuena (ES), Stijn Van Dorpe (BE), Benjamin Verdonck (BE), Katleen Vermeir (BE), the YES Men (US), Carey Young (US/GB), Niek Kosten (BE)
All galleries and collectors, the Audiovisual Studio of the Province of Limburg, all volunteers, trainees, interns and the entire Z33 crew.