Bik Van der Pol
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The City & The City
The Academy de Kunste der Welt in Cologne runs its own alternative educational program called the Youth Academy, where participants from Cologne join guest artists for workshops and projects. In this context, Bik Van der Pol were invited to run a workshop. They set up The City & the City, referring to China Miéville’s book in which two cities occupy much of the same geographical space, but via the volition of their citizens they are perceived as two different cities.

Through collective workshops participants embark on cooperative research to explore ways of gathering knowledge through a form of in-depth reading of the public domain, alternative writing, and storytelling.This is taking place against the backdrop of the elections for North-Rhine Westfalia’s state legislature in May 2017 and the federal parliamentary elections in September 2017.

Participants explore questions raised by voting and voicing as a political act in public space.Who has access, which languages do we speak? Encounters, interviews and documents of printed- and non-printed matter/media are actively taken into account as forms of storytelling that may become alternatives to revealing how private bodies become political, how they participate, and how they are drawn into relations of solidarity or opposition.
The City & The City
This culminates in an insert in the December 2017 issue of the monthly magazine Stadtrevue in the frame of “AKTION KUNST VERÖFFENTLICHEN, and a launch of this publication as a perfomative public event in King Georg Klubbar.