“in front of the screen, I am not free to shut my eyes; otherwise, opening them again, I would not discover the same image”Roland Barthes
nov '23SCHOOL OF CASABLANCA: THE EXHIBITION
SCHOOL OF CASABLANCA: THE EXHIBITION will take place in Casablanca: 11 November 2023 – 14 January 2024, and in Berlin: 15 February – 14 April 2024
School of Casablanca draws from the legacy of the Casablanca Art School and its innovative pedagogical methods, modernist aesthetics, and exhibition strategies in 1960s Morocco. Launched in 2020 with a residency program, it continues with an exhibition, which takes place at various locations in Casablanca between 11 November 2023 – 14 January 2024.
See opening program here
With contributions by Gilles Aubry, Nassim Azarzar, Amina Belghiti & Soukaina Aziz El Idrissi, Bik Van der Pol, Céline Condorelli, Fatima-Zahra Lakrissa, Manuel Raeder, Marion von Osten, Peter Spillmann, and Abdeslam Ziou Ziou. School of Casablanca is curated by Salma Lahlou, Independent Curator and Founder, ThinkArt, Casablanca; Krist Gruijthuijsen, Director, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; and Inka Gressel, Co-Director, ifa, Berlin.
School of Casablanca is initiated by KW Institute for Contemporary Art (Berlin) and ThinkArt (Casablanca) in partnership with Sharjah Art Foundation, Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa), Goethe-Institut Marokko, and Zamân Books & Curating.
aug '23Nominated for Dolf Henkes Prize at TENT, Rotterdam
September 8, at TENT, Rotterdam, the tenth biennial exhibition of the Dolf Henkes prize 2023. We are happy to be invited to show our work in this exhibition together with artists Ada M. Patterson, Babette Kleijn, Samboleap Tol, Yoeri Guépin, Bert Frings, Dirk van Lieshout and Maike Hemmers. Beautifully curated by Annosh Urbanke.
jul '23Mosaic: Special Issue: The Archive Issue
This is what we did during the covid years: a lot of in-depth reading as site-specific research, into the pile of circa 50 Mosaic Magazines, from the first Issue (October 1967) to now. Mosaic issue 54.2 is a special archival issue developed as the first part of a collaborative project between us, the magazine and Shep Steiner. Shifting through fifty odd years of old issues and forty times as many published essays, we collectively selected twelve to republish.
The second part of the project involves a series of lectures that will be published in subsequent issues (55.1, expected July 2023, and 55.2, expected August 2023).
introduction about our work and collaboration with Mosaic, by Shepherd Steiner and Karalyn Dokurno.
mei '23¿ A public workshop, a walk, and a collective performance, May, 2023
Bik Van der Pol are interested in the potential of transposing the classical chorus into the present, whose role is to speak and deliberate for, with and through past and future generations in a multiplicity of voices. Departing from the ground as object and site, this project – encompassing workshop, walk, performance and documentation- embodies punctuation as a form of ‘acupuncture’. This project addresses the ground we stand and walk on, mine, exploit and excavate. Bringing together knowledges, experiences, aspirations and energies in a collective endeavour we ask: if there is a public good, then who is the public and who is it good for? How can individuals relate to global responsibilities, and take stock of the consequences of their production and actions?
mei '23At The Edges Of Sleep - Moving Images And Somnolent Spectators by Jean Ma
Many recent works of contemporary art, performance, and film turn a spotlight on sleep, wresting it from the hidden, private spaces to which it is commonly relegated. At the Edges of Sleep considers sleep in film and moving image art as both a subject matter to explore onscreen and a state to induce in the audience.
Far from negating action or meaning, sleep extends into new territories as it designates ways of existing in the world, in relation to people, places, and the past. Sleep also expands our understanding of reception beyond the binary of concentration and distraction. Jean Ma brings together an array of interlocutors—from Freud to Proust, George Méliès to Tsai Ming-liang, Weegee to Warhol—to rethink moving images through the lens of sleep. Ma exposes an affinity between cinema, spectatorship, and sleep that dates to the earliest years of filmmaking, and sheds light upon the shifting cultural valences of sleep in the present moment.
feb '23The School To Be Done
dec '22These Birds of Temptation – intercalations 6
Our text Speechless: Some Notes About Birds, in this beautiful 436 pages thick book. Order here. Edited by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin, published by K.Verlag and HKW
These Birds of Temptation. Edited by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin. With contributions by Eddie Bartley, Ari Bayuaji, Bik Van der Pol, David Bonter, Xavi Bou, Tiffany Bozic, Lêna Bùi, Bertolt Brecht, Wallace Craig, Mark Dion, Andreas Doepke, Jimmie Durham, Anne Geene, Sophia Gräfe, Mary Ellen Hannibal, Nina Katchadourian, Bernie & Kat Krause, Barbara Marcel, Anaïs Nin, Arjan de Nooy, Megan Prelinger, John Paul Ricco, David Rothenberg, Juliana Spahr, Bruno Schulz, Anna-Sophie Springer, Frank Steinheimer, Yoko Tawada, Anna Tsing, Etienne Turpin, and Francesca Woodman. Design in collaboration with Katharina Tauer.
K. Verlag and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, 2021
dec '22A DÉRIVE THROUGH CASABLANCA, HISTORY AND MINDS, Part 2, November 2022
School of Casablanca, SCHOOL OF CASABLANCA PUBLIC SERIES
OCTOBER – DECEMBER 2022, which contours are taking the shape of a School of Walking, slowly moving through urban layouts, historic texts and textures of minds.
Walks initiated by Bik Van der Pol, with Fatima Mazmouz, Hassan Darsi, Maria Daïf, Manal Aziz & Hamza Boussedra and Mohamed Fariji.
For this part of their public programme, Bik Van der Pol propose the activity of walking and thinking collectively with the goal of eventually producing a filmed visual essay. Bik Van der Pol think of walking as an act of resistance, while simultaneously asking how, and where one goes to.
The points of departure are the connections between today, the Casablanca Art School and Souffles magazine (banned in 1972), both associated with a revolutionary student movement at a time of sit-ins, strikes, and labour unrest. What is the effect of revolutionary movements on education in light of amnesia, the larger capitalist, extractivist drive and the urban modernization processes that produce ruins, ruptures and gaps while moving on to the next swath of land to develop? How to encompass simultaneous realities while moving, if we experience the city as an environment, an ecological entity where citizens appropriate this ‘live tissue’ on a daily basis?
The process of walking has the potential to weave relationships between urban texture and text in context of larger discussions of decolonization and modernization. Drawing lines between different markers, or ‘actors’, and understanding these as archives and the materialization of concepts, the political moment as explored in the L’ École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Casablanca at the time may open perspectives on how ideas can be recycled and approached today.
The walks will be developed in collaboration with different actors, marking moments in space and time, including the participation of students of L’ École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Casablanca and other contexts, architects, artists and local experts.
apr '22Did you know...?
Did you know that ...Little Liars "was the name of radio receivers in Soviet Union that would receive only a certain government-approved frequency (the same formula was used in North Korea.) You could listen to “Voice of America” in USSR, but mere exposure to an opposite side of propaganda had tragic effects as well: a number of guerrilla fighters stayed for many years with radio receivers in forests of USSR-occupied countries like Lithuania waiting for “Americans to come.”
(Cited from Raimundas Malasauskas, text for Plug in 28, Van Abbe Museum)
Little Liars (collection from Kyiv, models 1-9), consists of nine unique bronze casts of one-channel radios, collected by Bik Van der Pol at flee-markets and from private persons during a residency in 2007 in Kyiv. 'Little Liars' was the (nick)name of these radio receivers in the Soviet Union, that would receive one single frequency controlled entirely by the state. Usually installed in the kitchen, they had to be part of every Soviet household, and were the only source of information about events in the Soviet Union and the rest of the world. As part of their continuous research on how knowledge affect a community or society, Bik Van der Pol investigated how information about the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl was disseminated to the public, and how the events following this event have implanted and continue to manifest in the private and public life of Ukraine.
In the casting process one single duplicate is cast from an original object. The original, the mould, is destroyed to remove the cast item, while every detail, inscription, mark, or structure, is conserved in the bronze, a material that is traditionally used to cast monuments and public sculptures.
Little Liars (collection from Kyiv, models 1-9). Little Liars used to be the (nick)name of the radio receivers in the Soviet Union. These radios would receive only one single frequency. Usually installed in the kitchen, they were part of every Soviet household, and had to be on all day. They were the one and only source of information about what took place in the Soviet Union and the rest of the world. Like the newspapers also this medium was controlled entirely by the state.
Between a Rock and a Hard Place "Early in an introductory geology course, one begins to understand that rocks are not nouns but verbs— visible evidence of. processes: a volcanic eruption, the accretion of a coral reef, the growth of a mountain belt. Everywhere one looks, rocks bear witness to events that unfolded over long stretches of time". (Timefulness: How Thinking Like a Geologist Can Help Save the World, by Marcia Bjornerud, pp. 8)
WHAT IS THIS WORLD?
Life Once More by Sven Lutticken
Interview with Bik Van der Pol by Lucie Kolb & Gabriel Flückiger in Issue 21 (New) Institution(alism), Both a radical and mild change
The Chorus and the Contemporary Ruin by Maeve Connolly. See also: Public Arena
On lazyness and boredom, Sven Lutticken
The School of Missing Studies at Sandberg Institute 2013-2015
Art Meets Science and Spirituality in a Changing Economy, Louwrien Wijers 1990
The World Question Center James Lee Byars 1998