Come Alive! No Movement Without Archives

13 March 2010 / Utrecht
Venue: Moira, Wolvenstraat 10, 3512 CH, Utrecht
Language: English 
Entrance, lunch and dinner are free as long as you reserve a seat.  
Please contact Jaring Dürst Britt.

Come Alive! is a series of public and discursive events organized by Casco in the course of 2010 to create a conjuncture between Casco’s twentieth anniversary and contemporary artistic and social practices that attempt to constitute alternative forms of social existence and organization through critical engagement with our recent past. These events aim at excavating the archival remains of a number of collectively driven or self-organized initiatives, events and figures. The various critical and imaginative investigations into those instituted repositories of past endeavors are to be shared and examined in order to speculate on the common desire, similar/different strategies and their agencies both within the historical movements as well as under the present conditions, and in possible movements to come. In this series, archival archaeology is also an exercise in futurology. In the process, the relationship between Casco’s institutional practice and society will be reflected and rearticulated.  

The first gathering, subtitled No Movement Without Archives, brings together artists with their projects to deal with the archival resource of social, political and artistic initiatives and figures that attempted to break the existing kind of institutional form of art and society. The constructive link between current archival practice and formation of movement in the seemingly incongruous historical time will be explored. 

Participants: Petra Bauer (artist/filmmaker, London/Stockholm) & Dan Kidner (curator/writer/ director of City Projects, London), Zachary Formwalt (artist, The Hague), Lily van Ginneken (critic/curator, Amsterdam), Nicoline van Harskamp (artist, Amsterdam), Nazima Kadir (researcher of IISH, Amsterdam), Marysia Lewandowska (artist, London), Huub Sanders (curator of IISH, Amsterdam), Barbara Steveni (founder of Artist Placement Group/artist, London).  


11:00–11:30 Welcome & Introductory note by Binna Choi (director of Casco)  
11:30–12:45 Beyond the Acid Free. Keynote lecture by and discussion with Barbara Steveni. Introduced by Lily van Ginneken 
12:45–13:45 Lunch 
13:45–14:15 Collectivity, Politics and Moving Images: A case study of British film collectives from the 70s. Presentation by Petra Bauer & Dan Kidner.  
14:15-14:45 J’APPROVE. Negotiating Bureaucracy. Presentation by Marysia Lewandowska 
14:45–15:00 Break 
15:00–15:30 The International Institute of Social History: Archives and heritage, knowledge, histories and stories. Presentation by Huub Sanders  
15:30–16:00 Yours in Solidarity: Disclosing the correspondence archive of Karl Max Kreuger. Presentation by Nicoline van Harskamp 
16:00–16:30 In Exchange for Movement. Presentation by Zachary Formwalt  
16:30–17:30 Break with possibility to visit If You Lived Here Still…, the archive project by Martha Rosler at Casco and the apartment for User’s Manual: The Grand Domestic Revolution 
17:30–19:00 No Movement Without Archives. Round table discussion moderated by Nazima Kadir 
19:00–20:00 Dinner 
20:00–23:00 Come Alive! Evening. Screenings, performances, conversations by and with the participants and other guests 

Participants’ biographies  

Petra Bauer is a London and Stockholm based filmmaker who graduated from the Malmö Art Academy in Sweden. Her work explores concepts of story building through documentary making and is interested in how norms and values affect selected interpretations of facts and events in society and how these in turn are used by people to construct a story of the present and the past. This focal point also came forward in her collaborative project Read the Masks. Tradition Is Not Given in 2008 made with Annette Krauss and in the framework of the Be(com)ing Dutch project of the Van Abbemuseum. Currently, Bauer is completing a residency in London where she has been researching and conceiving a long-term project in British film collectives from the 70s with particular interest in the collective documentary methods used by British feminist groups. Part of this research process is presented in the exhibition A History of Irritated Material at Raven Row in London through the film programme organized by Bauer in collaboration with Dan Kidner. 

Dan Kidner is the director of City Projects, a visual art commissioning agency and research centre that gives space to various projects varying from film/audio to sculpture projects whereby architecture and the urban environment are the central focus. Besides his work for City Projects, Kidner writes for several contemporary art magazines on a regular basis, including Frieze, Untitled Magazine and Exit express. In 2009, Kidner co-curated de Avant-Garde: Depression at Marres, centre for contemporary culture in Maastricht that explored the pathology of capitalism with its consumerist excess and the fiction of economic speculation. Kidner also has been collaborating with Petra Bauer for her research project on the British film collectives from the 70s. 

Zachary Formwalt is an artist currently completing a residency at DCR, Den Haag. Prior to that he graduated from the Critical Studies programme at the Malmö Art Academy and was a resident artist at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. In his practice, Formwalt uses films and photographs to investigate visual interpretations of economic processes. He also researches archival documents and imagery that questions the function of historical memory and the economy. Much of his work departs from researching the possibility of giving form to immaterial ideas and the materializing processes whereby the internal working frame often remains invisible. Recently, Formwalt had a solo exhibition The Form of Practical Memory at Kunsthalle Basel. 

Lily van Ginneken was editor in chief of the Kunstschrift van Openbaar Kunstbezit (Art Magazine of Public Art Collection) from 1982 up to 1989 and director of the art- and architecture centre Stroom in Den Haag from 1990 until 2005. She is active in several advisory committees and composed the Dutch entry for the 25th São Paulo Biennale and chaired the Casco board from 2006 until 2009. Recently, she has begun a long-term research on the impact of contemporary art practice on society in which Artist Placement Group is one of the central case studies. 

Nicoline van Harskamp is an artist currently based in Amsterdam after finishing her residency at the Rijksakademie. Harskamp has participated in several group exhibitions in the Netherlands and abroad such as Be(com)ing Dutch at Van Abbemuseum in 2008, Taipei Biennial, 2008 and Monument to Transformation in Prague in 2009. Her solo presentations include To Live Outside The Law You Must Be Honest at Casco in 2007 and Blauw op straat at Stroom in 2005, and more recently a scripted conference project Any other Business at De Balie, Amsterdam 2009; winning the Dutch Art prize Prix de Rome the same year. Van Harskamp’s research based practice concerns the influence of conventions, power relationships and personalities in the public domain. Accordingly, her methodology incorporates text, speeches, statements from interviews and debates and conversations that she leads to propel scripts that provide the basis of her video’s and staged debates. Her current research includes a project with the correspondence archive of Karl Max Kreuger collected by International Institute of Social History. Kreuger was an anarchist and founder of ‘Vrije Bond, basisorganisatie voor zelfbeheer en syndicalisme’ (Free Bond, a basis organization for self-organization and trade unionism).  

Nazima Kadir is a PhD candidate at the Department of Anthropology at Yale University and a visiting fellow at the International Institute of Social History (IISH). She is currently doing ethnographical research for her dissertation that concerns squatters’ movement in Amsterdam based on two years of participant observation and fieldwork in an Amsterdam based squatter’s community. Kadir also is concerned with labour conditions and recognition for social movements and for the Cyrus Fulbright Fellowship, she investigated the labour conditions of Asian domestic workers. 

Marysia Lewandowska is an artist living and working in London since her move from Poland in 1985. She is professor of Fine Art at Konstfack in Stockholm where she established Timeline: Artists’ Film and Video Archive. Through her collaborative projects, she has explored the public function of archives, collections and exhibitions in an age characterized by relentless privatization. She has been collaborating with Neil Cummings until 2008 and their projects include Give & Take (2001), Enthusiasm (2005-2006), Social Cinema. Recently via her residency at the Centre for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, Lewandowska has been developing Negotiations project, a process of securing a release into the public domain of recordings made by Lewandowska in London in the 1980s as part of her ongoing work known as the Women’s Audio Archive

Huub Sanders is curator and researcher at the International Institute of Social History (IISH) since 2000. IISH was founded in 1935 to collect and preserve the heritage of social movements worldwide whilst simultaneously stimulating and conducting research. Sanders specializes in the restitution of Dutch archives from Russia and is responsible for the Latin American and International Organizations archives. His interests also lie in the history of labour movements archives and the historical contextualization of the IISH. Consequently, he has contributed to publications that explore the IISH and social movements. Besides his activities for the IISH, Sanders is the Editorial secretary of the Magazine for Social and Economic History.  Barbara Steveni is an artist and co-founder of the Artist Placement Group (APG) established 1966 with John Latham in London. Since its genesis, APG, later renamed O+I, seeks to establish a collaborative relationship between art and various social organizations/institutes by providing possibilities for artists to reposition their role in a broader social context, including that of government and commerce. Recently Steveni has been engaged in a personal work under the title I AM AN ARCHIVE tracing through a series of walks, revisits and interviews of her life and role within APG / O+ I, in relation to today’s circumstances and to current and future art practice. The recent presentation of this work took place at Arnolfini, Bristol.


This event is organized with inspiration from Petra Bauer’s artistic research.

Many thanks to Julie Ault for the title inspiration.

The Casco programme is generously supported by the Mondriaan Foundation and the Utrecht City Council. The first event of Come Alive! is made possible with support from Utrecht Consortium/Sia Raak and European Union Culture Programme (Circular Facts).

This activity is part of:

A series of public and discursive events exploring artistic, social and archival practices for Casco’s twentieth anniversary

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