Encounter 04: If it is wrong – it is right! Ethics in Art
The 4th and last encounter will focus on the relation between art and ethics, between social commitment and political incorrectness.
We live in a world that is beautiful, inspiring, mysterious and diverse. And we live in a time that is loud, bizarre, brutal and unfair. How can art respond to these conditions? What language to speak to be understood? What words to choose to be heard? How far does art has to go in order to make an impact? What’s the difference between morals and ethics? How to deal with satyre, irony and cynicism in times of Donald Trump? How to make art politically instead of making political art? In this context art has to be loud, bizarre, brutal, unfair, beautiful, inspiring, mysterious and diverse!
With: Renzo Martens, Lara Staal, Constant Meijers, Julian Hetzel
Renzo Martens, born 1973 in Terneuzen, is a Dutch visual artist and the artistic director of the institute for Human Activities (IHA). Martens became known for his provocations, such as the much discussed “Episode III: Enjoy Poverty” (2008), a documentary that suggests that the Congo market their poverty as a natural resource.
He studied Political Science at the University of Nijmegen and art at the Royal Academy of Ghent and the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. Martens presentations include shows in the Tate Modern (London), Centre Pompidou (Paris), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven). He obtained his PhD in the arts at KASK, the School of Arts in Ghent, gave lectures on art, economy and representation, and was a researcher at the World Fellows Program at Yale University. In 2010 Renzo Martens initiated the Institute for Human Activities (IHA) that postulates a gentrification program on a palm oil plantation in the Congolese rainforest. In April 2017, IHA opened a White Cube on the site of Unilever’s first ever palm oil plantation, in Lusanga (formerly Leverville). IHA’s goal is to prove that artistic critique on economic inequality can redress it – not symbolically, but in material terms.
Lara Staal is an artist-curator, researcher and writer. She studied theatre pedagogy at ArtEZ in Arnhem and theatre science and dramaturgy at the University of Amsterdam. Between 2013 and 2016, she worked as a programmer at Frascati where she developed various socio-political programmes in which alliances were created between art and other fields on the basis of shared urgencies. From a growing interest in developing innovative forms within which dialogue and reflection can take place, she developed the "Congress of Utopia" in collaboration with Jonas Staal in 2016. Since 2017 she has been working as a freelance curator in the performing arts and has developed works such as "The Evening of the Anger" (together with rapper Gideon Everduim) and "Europe on Trial" (together with human rights activist Yoonis Osman Nuur). At the moment she works as a freelance artist-curator at Münchner Kammerspiele and NTGent. In Ghent she will develop a series called "The State of …", investigating the following five fundamental classical values: Truth, Belief, Beauty, Justice and Pride. In Munich she will develop a parallel shadow event to the famous Munich Security Conference in February 2020 and create a performative interactive lecture with the Open Border Ensemble. In addition to her work as curator, she writes for journals such as "rekto:verso", "Theatermaker", "Mister Motley" and "Etcetera".
Constant Meijers (Leiden, 1945) started his journalistic career with the legendary Dutch underground magazine “Aloha”. In 1972 he was invited to join the rock magazine “Oor” as editor-in-chief. In his ten year stint with this magazine, Meijers was responsable for introducing the pop weekly “Hitkrant” and “The First Dutch Pop Encyclopedia”. In 1982, Meijers switched to radio and television and made several program series on new media developments and documentary films on cultural subjects, such as “Rock & Russia”, a two part TV-documentary on the history of rock culture in the USSR. In the early nineties, he was asked, on behalf of the seven big theatre companies in The Netherlands, to develop a magazine on the promotion of Dutch theatre. In 1997, he started to present different radio programmes on art, culture and books. One year later, he took up editing “Theatermaker”, the Dutch magazine for the performing arts. In 2013 “Theatermaker” started publishing a new online service, “Theaterkrant.nl”, with reviews of all new Dutch performances and theatre news. Meijers retired from the magazine in 2015 and is currently advising the Dutch Arts Council on different aspects of theatre policies.
Julian Hetzel studeerde visuele communicatie aan de Bauhaus University Weimar, daarna verhuisde hij naar Amsterdam om zijn opleiding voort te zetten bij het masterprogramma van de AHK DasArts. Al tijdens zijn opleiding viel hij op met spraakmakende performances als PrENTER (2008), die werd getoond op het ARS Electronica festival 2008 in Linz en The Benefactor (2011). In 2016 richtte hij de stichting Ism & Heit op als een structuur om zijn artistiek werk te ontwikkelen, met Utrecht als uitvalsbasis. Julian Hetzel is ook oprichter en drummer van de electro-popband Pentatones.
All Inclusive (Campo & Frascati Producties, 2018)
The Automated Sniper (Frascati Producties en Ism & Heit, 2017)
Schuldfabrik (Steirischer Herbst Graz en Ism & Heit, 2016)
Sculpting Fear (SPRING Utrecht, 2015)
STILL – The Economy of Waiting (SPRING Utrecht, 2014)
I’m Not Here Says the Void (Frascati Producties & DasArts, 2013)