The Antagonistic Link

28 March–17 May 2009 / Casco HQ
A project by Electric Palm Tree in dialogue with The Demon of Comparisons at SMBA Projects
Artists: Mixterminal by Mixrice, Heavy Metal (News) Around the World by Sasa |44| with Sulki & Min, Bye Bye Kipling by Nam June Paik, Operational Play by Hwa Yeon Nam 
Opening: Saturday 28 March, 17:00. Accompanied by a first staging of Ongoing propositions under different conditions by Sonke Hallmann & Achim Lengerer.

The Antagonistic Link is an experimental setting for drawing transnational links in the form of an agonistic process that assumes the opposing parties to be in a state of conflicting coexistence. 

The Antagonistic Link uses Bye Bye Kipling, a historical satellite event conceived by Nam June Paik in 1986, as a point of departure. The exhibition combines this piece with three other projects initiated by artists and designers from South Korea, as well as other related activities. All these works explore the constructive possibilities of overcoming the sense of distance and antagonism that is the paradoxical product of advancing globalization. “East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,” the first line of The Ballad of East and West, a poem by Rudyard Kipling, opens up Paik’s live satellite link-up of Japan, Korea and the United States – a broadcast featuring different sorts of cultural events and performances. Paik designed and coordinated the event with the intention of countering this poetic declaration (which, to be fair, is also undermined in the rest of Kipling’s poem as he suggests that individuals are capable of this after all). The video is a shorter edit of the original broadcast and reveals various ironic and fractious moments in such a linkage. This may be a starting point for questioning the complexities and contradictions inherent in today’s communication channels and global links – an inquiry that neither denies nor blithely celebrates the possibilities of transnational connection. The title is adopted from the book The Antagonistic Link, which deals with the short-lived collaborative relationship between artists Theo van Doesburg and Joaquin Torres-Garcia in the late 1920’s. 

Discussion on Estrangement

Thursday 9 April, 20:00 

A conversation between curator Aneta Szylak (director of Wyspa Institute of Art, Gdansk) and artist Hiwa K. on their collaborative initiative Estrangement

Co-organized in the context of Framer Framed, a series of discussions initiated by Centraal Museum, Casco, AAMU, Museum Maluku, Kosmopolis Utrecht and TUMULT Participation in Operational Play.


Saturday 16 May, 14:00 (starting from Casco) 

A participatory performance of Operational Play, a project by Hwa Yeon Nam, takes place at six different locations across the city on 16 May 2009. Please check our website or contact (Jakob van Stolk) to find out more and participate in the performance. 

Casco HQ


Curated by Binna Choi, director of Casco and co-curator of Electric Palm Tree, in collaboration with the Casco team of Mirjam van Drenth, Yolande van der Heide, Magali Meijers and Jakob van Stolk. Exhibition design in collaboration with Susanne Pietsch. The Antagonistic Link is shown in dialogue with The Demon of Comparisons which is on view at Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam (SMBA) and also runs through 17 May 2009.
Rozenstraat 59, Amsterdam;

The Antagonistic Link and other Electric Palm Tree activities in the period 2008-2009 are made possible by Fonds BKVB in the framework of Intendant Culturele Diversiteit. With thanks to Nam June Paik Art Center, Youngin, South Korea. The Casco programme is generously supported by Mondriaan Foundation and Gemeente Utrecht.

This activity is part of:

A long-term curatorial project for transnational research and practice

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