20–23 November 2008 / Casco HQ
Workshop: Thursday 20–Saturday 22 November 2008 at Casco
Game/Performance: Sunday 23 November 2008, 15:00–17:00 at Babel (Oudenoord 275, Utrecht
Generale Staten (General States) is a project by Dutch artist Mieke Van de Voort, developed in collaboration with Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The project consists of a three-day workshop, from Thursday 20 to Saturday 22 November 2008, followed by a game/performance on Sunday 23 November and an exhibition, opening on Wednesday 10 December 2008 at 18:00.
Referencing the “Staten-Generaal,” an assembly of representatives of the Dutch provinces that became the parliament of the new Dutch Republic in the late 16th century, the project begins by recruiting participants from diverse social and cultural backgrounds to participate in a physical game set on an imaginary island called Orania. This island has been seized by an as yet unidentifiable virulent and deadly epidemic. The players are asked to assume different roles as inhabitants in a “general state” of collective crisis. By experiencing the isolation of a stricken state of mind, they are thrust into new states of being and challenged to cooperate to envision ways of coping with the situation.
The workshop is designed to immerse participants in a constructed group dynamic. The players are given various tools to grapple with issues that may arise over the course of the project, including information on the history of viruses and pandemics, self-organization strategies, theories of control and social order, notions of community, the production of difference, body-politics, decision-making, and conflict resolution. The practitioners and organizations contributing to the workshop include Mieke Van de Voort herself, Nina Yuen, Buro Jansen & Janssen, Otobong Nkanga, Carole Reeves, and Cib. For a detailed program, please refer to the schedule below.
After the workshop the game is played at a long-dysfunctional high-rise building with the resonant name “Babel,” located in Casco’s neighborhood. The general public is welcome to attend the workshop and game/performance and visitors are encouraged to share their feedback with the participants/players. Please let us know if you would like to attend by contacting Casco in advance.
Thursday 20 November 18:00–21:00
General State Introduction by Mieke Van de Voort
State of Contamination—Craig-y-nos Lecture & Presentation by Carole Reeves, Outreach Historian of The Wellcome Trust Centre for The History of Medicine
Friday 21 November 18:00–21:00
State of Emergency Presentation by The Centre for Infectious Disease Control Netherlands (Cib)
State of Bodies/Suffering Lecture & Exercise led by artist and performer Otobong Nkanga
Saturday 22 November 15:00–18:00
State of Symptoms—Healing ourselves DIY workshop by artist Nina Yuen
State of Discipline Lecture & Action led by Buro Jansen & Janssen
Sunday 23 November 15:00–17:00