DARE #4: Urban Knowledge
International symposium: Urban Knowledge
DARE # 4 ran from September 4–13, 2009 and consisted of presentations of students' graduation work, Research Screenings, and an International Symposium on Urban Knowledge. Locations in Utrecht were: our school's Academy Gallery (Fashion Design, curator Anne Vroegop), Dutch Design Center (Editorial Design, curator Thomas Clever), Studio Hoograven (Ma Fine Art, curator Mika Hannula), and Aorta (Spatial Design, curator Arjen Oosterman).
This symposium investigated the specific perspectives Fine Art and Design deploy in order to understand and rethink our current urban environments and their complexities. Does a research-based attitude play a decisive role in such context responsive practice What does Urban Knowledge mean for the current position of exhibition practice? And how can knowledge generated in this perspective be further specified?
Introduction: Henk Slager.
Moderators: Klaas Hoek and Mika Hannula.
Presentations: Jan-Erik Andersson, Adam Budak, Claire Doherty, Mika Hannula, Kobe Matthys and Huib Haye van der Werf.
Location: Centraal Museum, Utrecht.
Time: September 9, 2009, 10 AM – 5 PM.
A review of the symposium appeared on the website of Metropolis M
Claire Doherty (Director Situations, Bristol)
Situations in Place: Unknowing Urban Knowledge
Situations is a commissioning and research programme at the University of the West of England, Bristol. Initiated in 2003, the programme has developed, through its projects and events, an approach to public art commissioning and curating which is responsive to a notion of situation, rather than site, to unknowing rather than knowing a place. Claire Doherty will discuss a number of key Situations projects which have revealed how displacements, interruptions and interventions allow for new readings of place, reflecting the most dynamic and significant of contemporary art practices.
Mika Hannula (Professor Artistic Research, University of Gothenburg)
From Social Imaginary Towards Social Imagination
Mika Hannula’s talk is based on his forthcoming book titled Politics, Identity and Public Space Critical Reflections In and Through the Practices of Contemporary Art. It will come out in October and is published by Expodium and the Utrecht School of Arts., The book engages with the discussion and argument of what are the chances and challenges for contemporary art to participate in the processes of activating the static social imaginary into performative acts of social imagination., These are then acts that shake the bag, question and make events out of something that is usually taken for granted and not paid attention to: acts that seek ways how to shape and make that general space (content of a concept, sign, symbol, act or image) into a temporary thisness of a becoming of a place (content of a concept, sign, symbol, act or image). In his talk, Hannula will walk and think with the works of art by Igor Grubic, John Johnston and Jacqueline Donachie.
Jan Erik Andersson (PhD Researcher, Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki)
Life on a Leaf
Artist Jan-Erik Andersson presents the Life on a Leaf house project created together with architect Erkki Pitkäranta. The project is the production part of Andersson’s doctorate research in the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki. By building the leaf shaped house in Turku city, Andersson explores how the society reacts to a building, which put emphasis on collaboration, fantasy, art incorporated in the architecture, ornamentation and a mediated connection to the nature. By using different means to bring the nature into the building, using an organic floor plan, symbolic and pictorial elements and a sound installation, the house project aims to create an ”iconic space”, extending the modernist view of the building as a machine for living.
Adam Budak (Curator Manifesta 7, Curator Kunsthaus Graz)
In his presentation Adam Budak considers urban and regional contexts as frames for artistic and quasi-architectural interventions. He focuses on the politics of belonging as reflected in some participatory, community-based projects in the public space and the so called critical regionalism as a means to rethink the vernacular and to apply it as a performative strategy for an action of trans-regional dimension. He will be using two shows from Kunshaus Graz ('protections. this is not an exhibition', 'volksgarten. politics of belonging') and manifesta 7 ('principle hope').
Kobe Matthys (Agency, Brussels)
Agency. Specimen 000885 (Daley Bicentennial Plaza)
Agency constitutes a list of things that witness hesitation in terms of the bifurcation of nature into the categories of 'nature' and 'culture'. On the occasion of Urban Knowledge, Agency presents 'Specimen 000885 (Daley Bicentennial Plaza)' from its list. In 2004, the Chicago Park District altered the Daley Bicentennial Plaza. Soon after, a conflict arose wherein Chapman Kelley, who exhibited a garden of wild flowers at Daley Bicentennial Plaza since 1984, claimed that the Chicago Park District destroyed his work of environmental art. The resulting discussion opened up the question of whether gardens can fall under Federal Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA) and copyright protection. During the ensuing court case 'Chapman Kelley v. Chicago Park District' at the United States District Court of Illinois in 2008, Judge David Coar issued a verdict.
Huib Haye van der Werf (Curator NAI, Rotterdam)
An aspect of art in the public realm that is not often discussed is that of the commissioning body. Artworks that are realized in assignment outside the institutional realm - whether via governmental percentage schemes or by means of personal/corporate investment - are exemplary. Their materialization beyond the museological space raises questions as to the possibility of space being public because their entire existence is based on confrontation between both artist and commissioner, as well as artwork and an unsuspecting audience. Art in public space as the ultimate power struggle: the artist determining form and content, the commissioning body having made the artwork financially and often politically possible, and the audience's reception, all staking claim in the conceptual/physical authority of the artwork.
Based on his term as Visual Arts Advisor for the Chief Government Architect van der Werf proposes to present three cases in realizing art outside the institutional realm, which present the precarious relationship between the artist and the commissioning body.
DARE 4: Urban Knowledge is a project initiated by the Utrecht Graduate School of Visual Art and Design (MaHKU). DARE is realized in the context of Utrecht Consortium.