Cosmin Costinas on Thu, 29 Sep 2011 13:23:00 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-ro] Spacecraft Icarus 13: Narratives of Progress from Elsewhere

Spacecraft Icarus 13:

Narratives of Progress from Elsewhere

9 Octoberâ23 December 2011


8 October 2011, 20.00 hrs

						BAK, basis voor actuele kunst

Lange Nieuwstraat 4, Utrecht

BAK, basis voor actuele kunst proudly presents Spacecraft Icarus 13: 
Narratives of Progress from Elsewhere, a group exhibition that includes a
 number of artistic positions by international artists from different 
generations reflecting upon alternative visions for the future and 
models for political and cultural change that have emerged in response 
to the new conditions of the post-Cold War era. 
 The 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 outgoing BAK curator Cosmin 
 âIcarus 13,â the name of the first space journey to 
the sun led by an Angolan mission, is the subject of Kiluanji Kia 
Hendaâs 2007 photographic series of the same name. The Angolan mission 
comes off as absurd, perhaps more because of the improbable image of the
 African nationâs flag in space than because of its inhospitable 
destination. But in Hendaâs photos, the set of the âmissionâ is not a 
set at all, but is rather comprised of real places throughout 
AngolaââIcarus 13â is in fact an unfinished mausoleum built by the 
Soviets during the Cold War era, when Angola was one of the battlefields
 in a proxy war between the two superpowers. The work speaks volumes 
about dreams of progress, disillusions, and resistance efforts that have
 characterized the post-independence decades in Angola; it also sheds 
light on the course of many other countries that fell outsideâor were 
caught in the middle ofâthe dueling blocs of the Cold War. The 
geopolitical shifts of the past 20 years have removed many of the 
certainties about the direction along which progress was imagined, 
fracturing previously dominant articulations into a kaleidoscope of 
narratives, visions, constructions, and discourses, often ambivalent and
 ideologically hybrid. 
 In addition to âIcarus 13,â there is 
another key imageâa skeleton in the exhibitionâs closetâthat hovers over
 the narratives unfolding in Spacecraft Icarus 13. It is an allegory of 
Europe from 1924, part of a series of sculptures representing the five 
inhabited continents that are placed along the columns in the main hall 
of Utrechtâs Post Office. This representation stems from an era when 
Europe was confident about its historical march towards ever-greater 
progress and world domination (the figure of Europe is holding its hands
 firmly on the globe), but at the same time sought an uncivilized 
ahistorical âOtherâ to offset its own progress. During the exhibition, 
the Utrecht Post Office will close down as part of a nationwide program 
of privatization, part of the dismantling of the welfare state model 
that has been the very pride and the main argument for the Westâs 
self-representation as the beacon of prosperity during the Cold War era.
 The Westâs amnesia about this fact is comparable only to its historical
 blindness in embellishing this slow but steady process of decayâand the
 transition to neoliberalismâas a sign of a new and different kind of 
progress. But the path of this version of progress is not very clear, 
and the distribution of winners and losers across the globe even less 
 Public program: Cinematic Narratives from Elsewhere 

 Accompanying the exhibition is a film-based public program of 
screenings, lectures, and discussions that presents alternative accounts
 of the impact of socio-political changes brought about by 
western-driven discourses of progress and modernity in the âThird 
World.â The program is curated by Christina Li. 
 8 October 
2011, 14.00â18.00 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, 
 22 October 2011, 11.00â19.30 hrs, Against Amnesia and Apathy, film screening, Lav Diaz, Melancholia (2008)

 5 November 2011, 14.00â17.00 hrs, Excavating a Cinematic Future, with 
May A. Ingawanij (Research fellow, University of Westminster, London) 
and Keiko Sei (founder of Myanmar Moving Image Center (Yangon, Burma), 
writer and curator, Bangkok)
 19 November 2011, 14.00â17.00 hrs,
 The Political Carnivalesque, with film screening, Glauber Rocha, 
Entranced Earth (1967) and a lecture by Wendelien van Oldenborgh 
(artist, Rotterdam) 
 3 December 2011, 14.00â17.00 hrs, 
Revisions of African Representation, film afternoon curated by Kiluanji 
Kia Henda (artist, Luanda)
 The program is subject to change; please go to:
 or www. to get up-to-date information. Reservations are 
required; please send an e-mail to: to reserve a 
 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 (2008â2014),
 BAK opening hours:
 WednesdayâSaturday 12.00â17.00 hrs 
 Sunday 13.00â17.00 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 
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