Contrary to its dormant or idyllic image, the countryside has become host to some of the most pressing issues of our time: acculturation, autonomy, ecological models and food production, the enclosure of the commons as well as the resurgence of functional art. In seeking strategies to engage with these issues, Fernando García-Dory conceived INLAND (2009–present), which he defines as a “para-institution of polyvalent specialist mobile units working in emergency contexts that always operate in relation to an ’official’ institution, that is, a state, a company, or an art institution.”
Casco now partnering with INLAND presents an overview of the project’s activities of the last six years. The exhibition functions as an onsite workstation for extending INLAND’s agency to the Netherlands and initiating its research process here. INLAND research centers on probing the role of territories, geopolitics, culture, and identity between the city and countryside. Its projects are rooted in a wide variety of communities and places. And while each project has its own character and duration it is always connected to a specific department of INLAND such as “Knowledge”, “Training”, and “Production”; as well as to the larger self-organized and self-sustained INLAND system. INLAND’s activities include: study groups; publications; training schools for shepherds, peasant leaders, and craftsmen; newly commissioned projects by artists and farmers; involvement in local politics; and solidarity networks. In sum, INLAND is an imaginative, inquisitive, and practical method for relating with our environment that gleans insight from peasant and indigenous resistance while also appropriating institutional means.
At Casco García-Dory offers an elaborate diagram as a tool to navigate INLAND’s entangled realities, history, and present working structure in a carefully selected composition of INLAND artworks and project documentation materials such as landscape drawings with key terms, videos and collages, and farmers’ produce. The exhibition space is furthermore utilized as an active platform from which local extension agents conduct INLAND action-research and networking sessions, offering the visitor a first-hand and personal experience of INLAND and its possible application to the context of Utrecht and the wider Netherlands. The exhibition INLAND is organized in partnership with the Dutch Art Institute, Arnhem in the framework of Publishing Class V: INLAND.
On May Day, 1 May 2015, 18:00–22:00. we celebrate the opening of two thought-provoking solo exhibitions: White Paper: The Law by Adelita Husni-Bey and INLAND by Fernando García-Dory! Both artists look into creating new models and tools for the future against a backdrop of the destruction of the commons, with Husni-Bey focusing on the right to housing and García-Dory on alternative visions for the countryside.
The opening includes speeches by City Council of Utrecht Alderman of Culture Margriet Jongerius, Casco board member and White Paper committee presider Aetzel Griffioen, and Casco director Binna Choi alongside presentations by the artists and delicious food by Mari Pitkänen.