[spectre] Fwd: After Europe, Jonas Staal at State of Concept Athens

Andreas Broeckmann ab at mikro.in-berlin.de
Tue May 31 10:17:49 CEST 2016

Jonas Staal
After Europe

June 21–October 7, 2016

State of Concept
Tousa Botsari 19
117 41 Athens
Hours: Wednesday–Friday 4:30–8:30pm, Saturday 1–5pm

T +30 21 3031 8576
info at stateofconcept.org


State of Concept is proud to present After Europe, the first Greek
solo exhibition of Dutch visual artist Jonas Staal, curated by Iliana 

The exhibition /After Europe/ centers on the current political,
economic, and humanitarian crises in Europe. Rejecting both the existing 
managerial and corporate policies of the EU as well as the rise of 
ultranationalist parties all over the continent, Staal proposes art as a 
space to criticize and rethink the idea of the political union. What 
comes after Europe as we have known it so far? Where can the desire and 
imaginary of art bring us, to establish a new transdemocratic union?

The first part of the exhibition consists of the artistic and political
organization New World Summit, which the artist founded in 2012 and
since then has developed by creating "alternative parliaments" for
stateless and blacklisted political organizations from all over the
world. In the past four years, these parliaments have taken the form of
large-scale architectural constructions in theaters, public spaces, and
art institutions, in which the artist invited representatives of
stateless political organizations to discuss the political histories of
their organizations and the alternatives they represent, and furthermore 
to debate the violent policies enacted against them by Western 
democracies in the name of the War on Terror. From the Basque to the 
Kurdish and Tamil independence movements, these parliaments became 
spaces of assembly to propose and discuss alternative world orders. 
Staal's New World Summit is currently working on a commission of the 
autonomous Kurdish region of Rojava (northern-Syria) to build a
permanent public parliament for this revolutionary society. As a whole,
New World Summit makes visible violent policies enacted in the name of
democracy, including the European one, and simultaneously shows the
political alternatives proposed by those who have resisted neocolonial
and neoliberal policies.

The second part of the exhibition consists of Staal's /New Unions/, the
beginning of a new long-term project shown for the first time, in which
the artist's research in Athens became its point of departure. This
project starts with the current European crises and takes the form of an 
artistic campaign to support progressive, emancipatory, and autonomist 
movements all over the European continent to explore the possibility to 
establish a new transdemocratic union. With the term "transdemocracy" 
the artist refers to the massive rise of social movements and new 
political parties throughout the continent that have challenged 
traditional institutional structures by creating new models of political 
assembly and decision making. From the civil initiative in Iceland to 
collectively rewrite the constitution after the economic crisis to new 
pan-European initiatives opposing the economic terror imposed upon the 
Greek people. Together, these political experiments emerging out of 
Europe propose new forms of transdemocratic practices, no longer limited 
by traditional state boundaries. In this exhibition the artist presents 
the layout of the New Unions campaign for the first time.

Both Staal's New World Summit and New Unions, aim to contribute to the
imaginary of an age after Europe.

On the opening of After Europe the artist and curator will join the
stage with activists, thinkers and academics to discuss what comes after 
Europe. Confirmed speakers are Quim Arrufat (Popular Unity Candidacy, 
Catalunya), Angela Dimitrakaki (writer and academic, Greece/Scotland), 
Maria Hlavajova (artistic director BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, 
Utrecht, The Netherlands), and Vincent W.J. Van Gerven Oei (publisher, 
punctum books, US/Albania). For further information about the event 
refer to http://www.stateofconcept.org.

State of Concept is supported by OUTSET Contemporary Art Fund (Greece). 
The exhibition After Europe is made possible, in part, by the Mondriaan 
Fund (The Netherlands).


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