For a brief moment the revolutionary ideas on art and living of Black Mountain College resonate in the spaces of W139. The work of more than 30 young conceptual artists meets in an experimental Wunderkammer and engages in a tactile dialogue creating a performative space.
THE RESEARCH AND DESTROY DEPARTMENT OF BLACK MOUNTAIN COLLEGE brings together a group of bricoleurs, conceptual artists whose work share the idea of collecting. The physical shape of the work is determined by the content of their own research. The gathering, or ensemble of different ideas in literary images tells a story, and stands close to the notion of anachronism. In the exhibition mostly three-dimensional works will be presented, forming a dynamic parcours, as a forest of metonymic sculptures and images. The displaying of this anti-digital show will create new conceptual reflections between the different works. With 30+ artists the exhibition spaces of W139 will take on the temporal form of a giant cabin of curiosities, a physical embodiment of knowledge. The unforeseen encounters will be spurring new insights and fuel an active dialogue on exchange, collaboration and collection. Together, the large group of artists will have to overcome the inhuman proportions of the W139 exhibition space and engage in a spatial relationship with each other’s work, In the rear space Thomas Raat will transform the pattern of the mosaic floor of the Radio Kootwijk building into an enormous mural, making the large back wall an impressive rhythmic backdrop of repetitive ornaments.
Texts by Anne van Oppen and Jean Bernard Koeman
Curated by Jean Bernard Koeman
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On February 10th, 2012, the President of the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy Serhiy Kvit banned “The Ukrainian Body”, an exhibition that explores the issues of corporality in contemporary Ukrainian society. The entrance to the gallery is now locked. Serhiy Kvit explained his decision in the following way: “It’s not an exhibition, it’s shit”.
After the act of censorship concerning the exhibition «Ukrainian Body», which drew a wide response in the Ukrainian and foreign media, the President of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy Serhiy Kvit has initiated a number of bureaucratic restrictions against the VCRC as the organizers of the exhibition. On February 23rd the Academic Council’s decision stopped the activities of VCRC. The governing body of NaUKMA were exasperated by the public attention and the condemnation of censorship at the ‘most democratic’ university. As a result of the administration’s sanctions, the work of Visual Culture Research Center is no longer possible.
Open letter to The Visual Culture Research Centre by the Academic Council of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Ukraine (5 April 2012)
The exhibition “Mengele’s Skull” is structured around a specially commissioned book of the same title co-authored by Thomas Keenan and Eyal Weizman. Artist and filmmaker Hito Steyerl has been commissioned to respond to the proposition laid out in this book. Next to major new works by Hito Steyerl, this exhibition presents documentary and source materials.
The publication Mengele’s Skull discusses the forensic identification of the remains of infamous Nazi-doctor Joseph Mengele after his exhumation in 1985. The forensic investigation and identification of Mengele’s remains marks a transition. From now on, the “era of the witness”, centered around human testimony and trauma, gradually gives way to an “era of forensics”, in which things – such as bones – act as the witnesses of past events. How do bones act as witnesses? What role do technologies such as 3D scans and biomedical data play in the making of forensic evidence? And what is the role and politics of images?