Saturday, March 9, 2013
Yours in Solidarity
The extensive art project Yours in Solidarity that began in 2010, investigates the contemporary history of anarchism and is presented for the first time at New Art Space Amsterdam (NASA) in its entirety. Nicoline van Harskamp creates a complex and resounding portrait of anarchism’s supporters through analyses of the correspondence archive of the late Dutch anarchist Karl Max Kreuger, now housed in the International Institute for Social History (IISG) in Amsterdam. From 1988 until 1999, Kreuger corresponded by post with approximately 400 fellow anarchists worldwide. Through the study of respective political observations and handwriting analysis of some 60 letter writers, Nicoline van Harskamp re-activated the proponents’ life stories. Using actors of the relevant age and nationality, in a fully staged meeting of international correspondents, the artist suggests what would happen if they were to meet today. The resulting work is a reflective archive of Nicoline van Harskamp’s notes and copied extracts of over 1000 letters including video documentation of individual working sessions with actors and a film.
As in other recent works like New Latin (2010) and Any other Business (2009-2012), Nicoline van Harskamp addresses the power of the spoken word and its ability to shape thought and political ideals. Yours in Solidarity also charts a turning-point in the neo-liberal context following the demise of post-war idealism after 1989, whilst drawing reference to our current anti-authoritarian imperative and mainstream anti-capitalist opposition. The work, named after a much-used anarchist sign-off, directly engages the numerous theories of anarchism that are still critical today and its definition of paradoxical pairs such as scepticism and dogmatism; affinity and identity; direct action and symbolic action.
Throughout the course of the exhibition an intensive programme of talks under the name Reading Anarchism is organised to take place on Wednesday evenings. In the closing-week of the exhibition a full public reading-day will be held with invited speakers. Guests with an affinity for the subject are invited to prepare a presentation on a book or article from the online archive of anarchist writing. Speakers include: Michnea Mircan, Geert Lovink, Mariko Peters, Ahmet Öğüt, Charles Esche, Elena Bajo, Nienke Terpsma, Frans Bromet, Bea de Visser and Jan Ritsema.
Reading Anarchism encourages audience members to read the same texts and inspire further reading. The names of the guests and their chosen book titles will be announced online and in the exhibition space. All titles will be available as a laser printed booklet at NASA, and can be downloaded for free at www.theanarchistlibrary.org.
For further information about the exhibition and updates on Reading Anarchism’s dates, guests and literature go to www.nasaonline.net.
Opening Saturday 9 March.