11–14 October 2017 / Utrecht
Army of Love
Army of Love, initiated by writer Ingo Niermann and further heralded by artist Dora García, is a project cum supergroup of diverse practitioners that aim for an intimate completion of justice. It’s because even in a society where there is access to basic needs, commodities, and structures, attractiveness is not distributed equally, “often leaving out those considered to be old, ugly or unsuccessful.” The practitioners of the Army strive to offer all-encompassing love – one that includes diverse forms of care, desire, sex, and respect – to all those who need it.
“Army?,” you might ask. When violence and hatred become a common social language, when mainstream media tells us what to desire, and when we try to heal wounds made in our social relations, love appears to be not only an important subject matter but a force that requires training in the spirit of counter-militancy.
Army of Love has been running the “Complete Love Tour” since early 2016 in collaboration with several institutions including Casco, Berlin Biennale, ENSBA Lyon, MACBA: Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Städelschule, and Wiesbaden Biennale, to inform and put into debate its motives, strategies, modus operandi, and day-to-day routines.
Now back with Casco, we are organizing the Army of Love training camp together. Experts of diverse backgrounds – sex work, queer and disability studies and activism, mutualism and critical studies of exchange economics, anti-racism, rehabilitation, and trauma-informed practices will join the camp to share their theory-practices around loving and being loved. We will be joined by Niermann and García, as well as Jaime Conde-Salazar Pérez, Marije Janssen, Michelangelo Miccolis, Aimar Pérez-Galí, and many more to be announced. The core aim and interests of the camp is learning how to practice love towards those we haven’t yet felt attraction for, and how to become ready to receive love from those that want to give it.
To join the camp, please send an e-mail to Staci Bu Shea, with a short motivation on why you would like to take part in the week-long workshop as well as your availability. We have a limited capacity in order to focus in a smaller, more intimate way. Our call closes on Friday 22 September 2017. Please be in touch with any questions.
We encourage those who have been taught that they aren’t worthy of love to join us, as well as those who find that they have a lot of love to give. This is an imperative of the Army, but we must emphasize that we value diversity of age, race, economic status, gender expression, size, physical ability, developmental ability, learning styles, nationality, religion, citizenship status, and sexual orientation.
Participants should be available from Wednesday to Saturday, 11–14 October, 10:00–17:30 hrs and for the public program that will take place on the evenings of Wednesday 11, Thursday 12, and Friday 13 October, from 19:30 hrs–on. Event details will be announced later in September.
No participation fee but your commitment to Army of Love. We also can assist in finding a place for you to stay in Utrecht, either through our community or affordable accommodation. Each day of the camp will include lunch as well as coffee and snacks throughout the week.
The workshop will be in English. The gymnasium, the main venue of the workshop, is on-grade and wheelchair accessible, including the bathroom. We will ensure that the evening locations in the city where we hold events will be wheelchair accessible as well. We ask that the space be “scent-aware” in consideration for those with environmental illness and multiple chemical sensitivities. As well, if you require a sign interpreter, or any other additional assistance, please let us know when you reach out to us.
Please note that a portion of the workshop will be filmed, and included in the Army of Love exhibition at Casco opening on Saturday, 25 November 2017.
More on Army of Love
Founded by writer Ingo Niermann with artist Dora García, Army of Love has initiated recruitment by way of discussions, workshops, and training with the accompaniment of individuals such as Simon Asencio, Christian Bayerlein, Staci Bu Shea, Aimar Perez-Gali, Adriano Wilfert Jensen, Krööt Juurak, Alex Karolinski, Michelangelo Miccolis, and Matthias Vernaldi. Various organizations have provided support and public platforms for the supergroup’s activities including Berlin Biennale, ENSBA Lyon, MACBA: Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Städelschule, and Wiesbaden Biennale. The intra-organizational relationship between Casco and Army of Love on love and justice with new and current practitioners has deepened in 2017, starting with the Army of Love Introductory Event at Casco in January, and bridging across the year with public presentations at SUPERDEALS in Brussels, and San Serriffe and Perdu in Amsterdam.
The collaboration with Army of Love takes place in a year of transition at Casco from Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory to Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons.