Trainings for the Not-Yet, An exhibition as a series of trainings for a future of being together otherwise

, Jun 2019

In response to BAK’s question, how to be together otherwise? and in spite of the threatening amalgamate of the ecological, political, social, and economic emergencies that define the present, van Heeswijk proposes to shift the emphasis from emergency to emergence. Seeking to radicalize the possibility of BAK as not only an art institution but a truly collectively shared basis from within which the contours of another world and another future of the not-yet can emerge, the artist turns it into a site of transversal community-to-community exchange and trainings, aligning the “fields” of social action, art, and theory. Over the course of nearly a year, van Heeswijk has reached out to a myriad of individuals and communities across geographies, practices, movements, and “disciplines.” Some of these encounters have taken place as public assemblies in an ongoing series BAK, basis voor… (such as BAK, basis voor New Women Connectors and BAK, basis voor Extinction Rebellion), joining forces with movements and organizations in tackling shared urgencies and developing alternative propositions.

The forthcoming culmination of this trajectory, Trainings for the Not-Yet, is an exhibition that evolves through a series of trainings organized in weekly chapters. The trainings range from “dreamscaping” to radical listening, from creating sanctuary to enacting radical care, from fighting housing struggles to building solidarity economies, and from composing intersectional alliances to becoming collective. They take place amid and with artworks by van Heeswijk, as well as by an array of international artists engaged in social change and modeling collectivity. Van Heeswijk sees these works as learning objects. Meant to be used and accommodated by and in the trainings, they are living repositories of knowledges, stories, and experiences; the tools-in-wait for activation in difficult conversations and joyful praxis; and the archives of past and future anticipations of what “we” want to become when practicing visions of transformative justice, equality, dignity and love, care, resilience, collective power and sharing, and the relationality spawning alternative possibilities. Van Heeswijk’s works include objects and environments from some of her pivotal past and ongoing projects, including Philadelphia Assembled, Philadelphia, 2014–2017; Homebaked, Liverpool, 2010–ongoing; and Public Faculty Series, various locations, 2008–ongoing. Other learning objects comprise works such as Patricia Kaersenhout’s Formats of Care in Times of Violence, 2019; Adelita Husni-Bey’s Agency, 2014; Carmen Papalia’s, White Cane Amplified, 2015; Ultra-red’s Protocols for the Sound of Freedom, 2012; Black Quantum Futurism, Time Travel Experiments, 2017; and Adrian Pipers’s Funk Lessons, 1983, among others.

The ongoing series of (daily) trainings, each modest in scale, surface intermittently in large-scale public gatherings, including a week-long series of trainings, lectures, and panels that seek to understand and act upon the current culture wars Propositions #9: Deserting from the Culture Wars, 13–17 November 2019 (co-convened with Sven Lütticken), as well as a series of panels and seminars Instituting Otherwise, 6–7 December 2019, that implements the learnings from Trainings for the Not-Yet into the civic, solidarity-driven praxis of BAK as a public cultural institute working at the intersection of art, theory, and social action.

The full program of the trainings can be found on the BAK website from 1 August 2019.

Jeanne Van Heeswijk is an artist whose projects seek to encourage and realize citizen engagement in shaping environments, while transcending the traditional boundaries of art. Van Heeswijk is a BAK 2018/2019 Research Fellow as part of the post-academic BAK Fellowship Program.

Jeanne van Heeswijk in collaboration with Laura Raicovich, Adelita Husni-Bey, Patricia Kaersenhout, Shumaila Anwar (Initiative for Diversity, Inclusion & Peace (IDIP)), Habiba Chrifi-Hammoudi, Joy Mariama Smith, Adrian Piper, Denise Valentine, Nancy Jouwe, Black Quantum Futurism (Camae Ayewa and Rasheedah Phillips), Chloë Bass, Beatrice Catanzaro, Kolar Aparna, Mehbratu Efrem Gebreab, Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh (Arab Image Foundation), Clara Balaguer and Gabriel Fontana, Fran Ilich, Jun Saturay, Ying Que, Bakudapan Food Study Group, Michael Rakowitz, Afrikaanderwijk Coöperatie, Superuse Studios, Freehouse, De Voorkamer (Pim van der Mijl and Shay Raviv), W.A.G.E, Philadelphia Assembled (Toward Sanctuary Dome), Staci Bu Shea (Casco Art Institute), Laced-up project (Sarah Mobley and Maaike van Dooren), Whitney Stark, Carmen Papalia, Zein Nakhoda, Homebaked Community Land Trust (Britt Jürgensen), Homebaked Bakery (Angela McKay), Homegrown Collective (Samantha Jones), Selçuk Balamir (de Nieuwe Meent, Code Rood), Joska Ottjes (Bond Precaire Woonvormen), Irene Calabuch Miron, Ethel Baraona Pohl, Refugee collective We Are Here, Elke Uitentuis, Abdulaal Hussein and Paul de Bruijne, New Women Connectors, Lieneke Dwars, Stranded FM, Welkom in Utrecht, Gabriel Erlach, Sydney Sinkamba, Ultra-red, Mustapha Seray Bah (Stichting Mowad), Goldsmith.Company, and Extinction Rebellion

Photo: BAK, basis voor New Women Connectors, gathering on 10 March 2019. Rob Godfried