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BAK, basis voor actuele kunst Announces Spacecraft Icarus 13 Narratives of Progress from Elsewhere

BAK, basis voor actuele kunst presents Spacecraft Icarus 13: Narratives of Progress from Elsewhere. Open 9 October–23 December 2011.

This group exhibition, with works by Neil Beloufa, Patty Chang and David Kelley, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Mikhail Kalatozov, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Federico Herrero, Yasuzo Masumura, Omar Meneses, Cristina Lucas, Mauro Restiffe, Glauber Rocha, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, and Lin Yilin, is curated by BAK curator Cosmin Costinaş. The accompanying public program is curated by FORMER WEST research curator Christina Li.

Spacecraft Icarus 13 includes a number of artistic positions by international artists from different generations, and reflects upon alternative visions for the future as well as models for political and cultural change. These positions have emerged in response to the new conditions of the post-Cold War era, and originate from cultural and political contexts outside of the simplified axis of the ideological rivalry between the so-called West and East. Taking this history into account, Spacecraft Icarus 13 focuses on the mutations and reiterations of progress in the past two decades across a new geography of power.

If an imaginary “Icarus 13” set out on a mission to the sun—as one of the works, lending its title to the show, proposes—it would necessarily fail. Yet this knowledge does not prevent artistic imagination from thinking the world otherwise and speculating about the possibility of another future through the notion of progress. Despite the complex philosophical, political, and historical controversies the notion of progress invites into the discussion, as a forward-looking ideal it offers us the possibility to think of a future that is beyond today’s devotion to the principle of unfettered global economic growth.

Public program: Cinematic Narratives from Elsewhere
Accompanying the exhibition is a film-based public program that presents alternative accounts of the impact of socio-political changes brought about by western-driven discourses of progress and modernity in the “Third World.”

8 October 2011, 14.00–18.00 hrs, Bypasses to Modernity, with Wang Hui (Professor, Department of Chinese Language and Literature, Tsinghua University, Beijing), Nick Deocampo (filmmaker, film historian, and director of the Center for New Cinema, Manila), and Luis Ospina (filmmaker, Cali, Colombia)

22 October 2011, 11.00–19.30 hrs, Against Amnesia and Apathy, film screening, Lav Diaz, Melancholia (2008)

5 November 2011, 14.00–17.00 hrs, Excavating a Cinematic Future, with Keiko Sei (founder of Myanmar Moving Image Center (Yangon, Burma), writer, and curator, Bangkok)

19 November 2011, 14.00–17.00 hrs, The Political Carnivalesque, with film screening, Glauber Rocha, Entranced Earth (1967) and a lecture by Wendelien van Oldenborgh (artist, Rotterdam)

3 December 2011, 14.00–17.00 hrs, Revisions of African Representation, film afternoon curated by Kiluanji Kia Henda (artist, Luanda)

The program is subject to change. Please go to: or to get up-to-date information. Reservations are required; please send an e-mail to: [email protected] to reserve a seat.

Venue for public program activities:
Het Utrechts Archief
Hamburgerstraat 28
3512 NS Utrecht (around the corner from BAK)

The research exhibition Spacecraft Icarus 13 and the accompanying public program are organized within the framework of the project FORMER WEST, an international research, education, publishing, and exhibition undertaking (2008–2014),

BAK opening hours
Wednesday–Saturday 12.00–17.00 hrs
Sunday 13.00–17.00 hrs

For further information, please contact:
BAK, basis voor actuele kunst
Lange Nieuwstraat 4
3512 PH Utrecht
t: +31 (0)30 2316125
f: +31 (0)30 2304866
e: [email protected]

Image: Hendrik van den Eijnde, allegory of Europe, 1924, bluestone sculpture from a series located in the main Post Office in Utrecht, slated for closure in fall 2011. Photo: Johannes Schwartz

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