Talk Series: Maria Hlavajova
First Talk Series guest of 2023 is Maria Hlavajova, Netherlands-based exhibitions curator and art-researcher and founding general and artistic director of BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht. It is a great honor for the Icelandic art scene to have her come to the country and give a talk here. Her talk is entitled ´Neither Hope Nor Despair: Thinking About, With, and Through Art in This Time of Permacrisis.´ Registration HERE
As the word “permacrisis” enters our dictionary as the most defining word of this time—to name a protracted period of instability and insecurity, or better yet, of the endless series of interconnected catastrophes—what art, what subjects, what sort of being together must we create? Thinking through a number of concrete art projects and art practices at BAK, from Former West (2008–2016) to Propositions for Non-Fascist Living (2016–ongoing) to Trainings for the Not-Yet (2019–2020), Maria Hlavajova ponders on the meaning of art, vis-a-vis the conditions of today, that resigns to neither false hope nor to paralyzing despair. She envisions a possibility of art as a radical, speculative, public pedagogy geared at learning to be together otherwise: that is, a pedagogy of collective worldmaking that involves learning with one another what does not yet exist, and then living that new knowledge, that newly envisioned world, as if that were possible.
Maria Hlavajova is an organizer, researcher, educator, curator, and founding general and artistic director of BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht (since 2000). Between 2008 and 2016, she was research and artistic director of the collaborative research, exhibition, and education project FORMER WEST, which culminated in the publication Former West: Art and the Contemporary After 1989 (which she co-edited with Simon Sheikh, 2016). Hlavajova has instigated and (co-)organized numerous projects at BAK and beyond, including the series Propositions for Non-Fascist Living (2017–ongoing), Future Vocabularies (2014–2017), New World Academy (with Jonas Staal, 2013–2016), among many other international research, education, exhibition, and publication projects. Her curatorial work includes Call the Witness, Roma Pavilion, 54th Venice Biennale, Venice, 2011; Citizens and Subjects, Dutch Pavilion, 52nd Venice Biennale, Venice, 2007; and Borderline Syndrome: Energies of Defense, Manifesta 3, Ljubljana, 2000. Publications she has (co-)edited include: Fragments of Repair (with Kader Attia and Wietske Maas, forthcoming 2023); Toward the Not-Yet: Art as Public Practice (with Jeanne van Heeswijk and Rachael Rakes, 2021); Deserting from the Culture Wars (with Sven Lütticken, 2020); Propositions for Non-Fascist Living: Tentative and Urgent (with Wietske Maas, 2019); Posthuman Glossary (with Rosi Braidotti, 2018); and Marion von Osten: Once We Were Artists (with Tom Holert, 2017), among others. She is a lecturer at HKU University of the Arts Utrecht, Utrecht and Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Bratislava. In addition, Hlavajova is co-founder (with Kathrin Rhomberg) of the tranzit network. Hlavajova is a member of the supervisory board of the Academy of Visual Arts, Prague and of the advisory boards of Bergen Assembly, Bergen and IMAGINART, Imagining Institutions Otherwise: Art, Politics, and State Transformation, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam. In the recent past, Hlavajova served on the supervisory boards of European Cultural Foundation, Amsterdam and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. She lives and works in Amsterdam and Utrecht.
TALK Series is a visitors program initiated by the Reykjavik Art Museum, the Icelandic Art Center and the Iceland University of the Arts with the support of Business Iceland. Since 2012, a selection of highly regarded international artists, curators and critics have participated.
The event is in English.
Free entrance with a museum ticket and for holders of Annual Pass/Culture Pass.