Bik Van der Pol
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Too late, too little, (and how) to fail gracefully

Too late, too little,
(and how) to fail gracefully

curated by Bik Van der Pol

2011, Kunstfort Asperen

Fort Asperen is a part of the New Dutch Waterline, a defense system which was founded under French administration. During the Franco-Prussian War (1870) and the First World War (1914-1918) the Netherlands remained relatively undisturbed and the New Waterline was not put to use. On 12 April 1940 however, the Fort was prepared for war, but the New Dutch Waterline could not withstand modern warfare. The German Luftwaffe passed the nineteenth century defense structure without problems and dropped their paratroopers far behind its lines.
Bik Van der Pol articulated the concept for KunstFort Asperen 2011- titled Too late, too little, (and how) to fail gracefully- inspired by the irony of Forts military past. The project reflects on the theme of intruders, and looks critically and with some irony to to societal boundaries and barriers. When do we perceive the other as a threat? How are social barriers erected and how are these undermined?
Too late, too little, (and how) to fail gracefully
Does this indeed offer the desired safety and protection? Or is it merely a mental construct?

Too late, too little, (and how) to fail gracefully consisted of an exhibition and public program with lectures, film screenings, outdoor installations, and performances.
Bik Van der Pol set up a team of Special Forces, which included Nathalie Hartjes (production and assisitant curator), Anne Beeksma and Susanne de Heer (assistents production and research Blackmarket), and Vincent Stroep (film program). Designer David Bennewith developed the concept and realisation of the graphic design and communication (publicity, publication, codes) alongside and during the development of the whole project, thus allowing continuous adjustments and specific targeting.

Participating Artists: Lara Almarcegui, Tarek Atoui, Marc Bijl, the Blackmarket for Useful Knowledge and non-Knowledge (Mobile Academy), André Cadère/Alain Fleischer, Critical Art Ensemble, Teddy Cruz, Martijn Engelbrecht, Tim Etchells, Harun Farocki, Jeroen Jongeleen, Zachary Formwalt, Freddy Heineken, Runa Islam, Otto Karvonen, Jasper Niens, Navid Nuur, Cesare Pietroiuisti, Åsa Sonjasdotter, Hito Steyerl, Pilvi Takala, Javier Telléz, Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas, The Yes Men, Artur Zmijewski.

next page: Air Time, 2011, Jasper Niens
next next page: First international pigeonrace for the Fort Asperen Cup, 2011, Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas