De Appel and University of Amsterdam (UvA), in collaboration with the Onderzoekschool Kunstgeschiedenis (OSK), invite you to a seminar in the context of the exhibition Activating Artifacts: About Academia on Monday, 27 March 2017, 14.30-18.30.
Activating Artifacts: About Academia
The seminar is organized within the framework of the exhibition Activating Artifacts: About Academia, presented at Rozenstraat 59 by De Appel in partnership with UvA. In this solo-exhibition, the Spanish artist Muntadas addresses themes of privatisation, corporatisation, gentrification and globalisation in relation to American higher education. Through a meticulously laid out architecture, the project provides a space for reconsidering various intersecting spheres of institutionalized sites of learning and the neoliberal realm.
Through this seminar, the Muntadas exhibition will be activated to examine how the above processes, which also drive the relentless neoliberalisation of higher education beyond the US, resonate within the context of continental Europe post-Bologna and The Netherlands post-Uprising specifically. How do the themes of privatisation, corporatisation, gentrification and globalisation, which Muntadas so keenly dissects, resonate and ultimately transform the way we understand the often-conflicting ideological, economic and educational pursuits of the university apparatus, and how do these issues relate to particular geo-cultural frameworks? Two panel discussions will provide this (re-)contextualization, while reflecting on the role artists play in originating critical discussions about academia.
Welcome by Christa-Maria Lerm Hayes (professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History, UvA) and Niels Van Tomme (director, De Appel)
Panel 1: Dutch Academia Post-Uprising
UvA’s Maagdenhuis has a long history of student occupations, the first one dating back to 1969. The last historical occupation took place from February to April 2015 and was a result of a general dissatisfaction with the increasing weight given to corporate and commercial interests at the university alongside a deep distrust of its supervisory board. The demands of the Maagdenhuis occupiers resonated throughout Dutch academia as a whole, for which the UvA presents a quintessential case study. To which developments were the occupiers responding and how do these relate to the conditions of higher education in the US? What alternative institutional structures arose from the occupation? Are they still relevant today? Can the occupation be considered successful or should we look at alternative forms of resistance instead?
Sepp Eckenhuizen (Commoning UvA)
Eva Fotiadi (lecturer in Contemporary Art and Theory, UvA)
Steven ten Thije (research curator, Van Abbemuseum)
Moderator: Christa-Maria Lerm Hayes
16:00-17:00: Guided tour of De Appel’s FOOTNOTES exhibition ‘Good Luck, See You After the Revolution’ at UvA Turfdraagsterpad 15-17 by De Appel Curatorial Programme participants Mira Asriningtyas, Lucrezia Calabrò Visconti and Shona Mei Findlay.
Panel 2: European Academia Post-Bologna
The 1999 Bologna declaration concerns a series of agreements between European countries to ensure compatibility in the standards and quality of higher education. The declaration has had far-reaching effects on the way in which academia across the continent has been organized. While the agreement was initially developed as a tool to promote the transnational mobility of students and scholarship, it has also been criticized as a primarily economic endeavor meant to enhance financial competitiveness by cutting down costs and as an instrument of standardization that flattens the necessary geo-cultural specificity of different educational systems. How then should we evaluate the changes the Bologna declaration has put into action? Is the European academic world facing similar conflicts as the American one? And are there alternative ways in which European universities can be transformed to potentially overcome these developments?
Mieke Bal (Professor Emeritus in Literary Theory, UvA)
Cecilia Guida (director, UNIDEE - University of Ideas, Academy of Fine Arts, Bologna)
Ronaldo Vázquez (assistant professor of Sociology, Utrecht University)
Moderator: Niels Van Tomme
Drinks available during the break and after the seminar.
Entrance is free, but seats are limited so please make a reservation through firstname.lastname@example.org
University of Amsterdam
1012 ZA Amsterdam