Urban Matters: Material Engagements with Communities and Borders in Times of Movement

Guided Tours (BAK and Casco)

1. First Person Plural: Empathy, Intimacy, Irony, and Anger (BAK, basis voor actuele kunst)

The group exhibition First Person Plural: Empathy, Intimacy, Irony, and Anger (on view until 22 July 2018) inquires into the emotional infrastructures of the present. What roles do emotions and affects play in forming collectivities and political belonging? What kind of “we’s” do empathy, intimacy, irony, and anger assemble, and how do they determine which “first person plurals” someone is part of? And where does the affective power of art stand in these processes?

The exhibition features works by artists Doug Ashford, Sven Augustijnen, Tala Madani, Liz Magic Laser, Eva and Franco Mattes, Otobong Nkanga, and Sarah Vanhee, as well as a space conceived by 2017/2018 BAK Fellow Sepake Angiama.

Curator Matteo Lucchetti: “Each artwork approaches the roles of emotions and affects in acute political situations in a different way. For example, Liz Magic Laser reflects on the impacts that Brexit and Trump’s US Presidential elections have had on people through a primal speech therapy session. Doug Ashford’s paintings and video use abstract forms and colors to allude to what moves the protests for social change from the 1960s to today. Eva and Franco Mattes reveal, in their videos installed in office furniture, the emotional labor of the online moderator workers who remove violent and disturbing content from the internet, manipulating what we can access on the most popular social media platforms. All works in the exhibition urge how much emotions matter in forming political landscapes.”

BAK curator Matteo Lucchetti will give a guided tour through the exhibition on Thursday June 21, 12:45pm. Please register by sending an e-mail to urbanmatters@uu.nl. Costs are 5 euros and the address is Pauwstraat 13a, Utrecht.

At 20.00 hrs in the evening there is also a special screening of artist Sarah Vanhee’s film The Making of Justice(2017), ending with a conversation between Vanhee and scholar Frans-Willem Korsten. Tickets for the screening can be bought online at: https://bit.ly/2HsM4rV.


2. Erfgoed (Agricultural Heritage and Land Use) at Terwijde farmhouse

Guided tour to the farmhouse and its environment

Thurs 21 June 17:00-19:00 (in total 2 hours including the short traveling time)

Meeting and departing from Drift 21 to the Terwijde farmhouse: Louis Armstrongboulevard 30/50*, by Utrecht Terwijde station


Erfgoed is the first project by Center for Ecological (Un)learning (CEU), a long-term co-initiative by Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons (www.casco.art) and The Outsiders (https://theoutsidersunion.nl/) to cultivate art-ecological practice of varied forms in the Terwijde neighborhood of Utrecht through the revitalization of an old farmhouse for common use.

Do you know the sprawling neighborhood of Leidsche Rijn that used to be known as the “Stadsweide” (city meadow) of Utrecht?

The farmhouse Terwijde was once part of expansive green farmland, dating back to the fourteenth century. Until just about twenty years ago, before it became homes, streets, and shopping centers, it was traditionally cultivated for agricultural use. The farmhouse is a partial remainder of Hof ter Weyde, a former castle in the middle of this farmland. For over fifty years until 2007, it was inhabited by the Van Vuuren family who owned it along with the surrounding farmlands. The family raised pigs, chickens, and cows, and made dairy products such as cheese and yoghurt in the farmhouse.

As the urbanization proceeded further, the family had to leave, and the farmhouse was unused for the next decade. In 2017, in dialogue with the Van Vuuren family, a group of artists led by Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons and the Outsiders galvanized their collective imagination to real effect, and took on an initiative to re-animate the farmhouse and open it up to its neighbors for a variety of activities and purposes. This initiative—along with their artistic imagination—didn’t only bring (edible) plants, animals, and insects.  Its dream is to enliven—and “common”—the farmhouse, for learning and unlearning ecological ways of living together in the long-term.

*Please note that the farmhouse address is Louis Armstrongboulevard 30, but appears as 50 on Google Maps. The farm is visible from the Utrecht Terwijde train station.