From 8 February to 3 March, Sonic Acts presents an expansive exhibition in three acts across three spaces in Amsterdam – Arti et Amicitiae, Vlaams Cultuurhuis de Brakke Grond and Stedelijk Museum – opening in quick succession on 8, 16 and 22 February in the lead-up to Sonic Acts Festival 2019. The first act, featuring selected video works and installations by a diverse group of artists including Cyprien Gaillard, Rana Hamadeh, Louis Henderson, Sondra Perry, and Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa is to be seen in Arti et Amicitiae.
HEREAFTER aims to explore the genesis of our current crisis – and what happens hereafter – by reflecting on the issues we are forced to confront on a daily basis: the inequalities caused by colonisation and geostrategic manoeuvring, the challenges posed by the climate crisis and immigration, the ever-present exploitation and precarity of the work force, and the way technological advancements disrupts and not emancipates – that is, the gooey mesh of global capitalism.
Within this context, the first act at Arti et Amicitiae examines the structures of power by collecting traces of Europe’s colonial engagement with East Africa (Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa); reflects on the complicated entanglement of technology and images in the construction of the black American identity (Sondra Perry); meditates on the ways in which traumatic events of recent history can be read in – or have been memorialised by – urban or ‘natural’ landscapes, architecture and public space (Cyprien Gaillard); invokes the restless spirit of one of the leaders of the Haitian revolution of 1791, Toussaint Louverture, transporting him back across the ocean from France, where he was imprisoned and died, to Haiti (Louis Henderson in collaboration with João Polido Gomes and The Living and the Dead Ensemble); zooms in on the question of the word qur’ān, which inspires a score that posits itself as the index and administrator of ‘all potential discourse’ (Rana Hamadeh in collaboration with André Castro).
In collaboration with Vlaams Cultuurhuis de Brakke Grond, the second act of the exhibition opens on 16 February. Here, the video works and multi-channel installations presented reimagine terrains scarred by man-made industrialization in California’s Imperial Valley (Lukas Marxt); reconfigure the strategic geopolitical area of the Russian-Norwegian border area, undergoing catastrophic effects of climate change, while at the same time playing a prominent role in the industrial and military Northward expansion (Alexis Destoop); or try to reassess the 2011 Fukushima tsunami and nuclear disaster through transformations and mutations of the body (Ana Vaz). The works presented show us the impact of humankind on the environment, but they also shine a light on the communities affected by exploitation and oppression, aimed at the people living on geostrategic lands or on the pathways of the grand Enlightenment project (Ulrike Ottinger). Finally, there is Amsterdam, mapped as a terrain uncovering the city’s hidden electromagnetic phenomena, its invisible wavelengths and charges (Christina Kubisch).
For the third and final act of the exhibition, Sonic Acts continues its collaboration with Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam to showcase sound-art related projects. The works on display celebrate the revolutionary sounds of Tony Cokes’ video works and the legacy of Julius Eastman (1940 – 90), the queer African-American avant-garde composer, pianist, vocalist and conductor, whose piece is featured in The Third Part of the Third Measure (2017) by The Otolith Group. The setup at Stedelijk also consists of a special project commemorating 50 years of STEIM Amsterdam – the microTone.
Join us for the first opening at Arti et Amicitiae on Friday 8 February at 19:30. Entrance is free for all.
Arti et Amicitiae: 8 February – 3 March
Vlaams Cultuurhuis de Brakke Grond: 16 February – 3 March
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam: 22 February – 3 March
Guided exhibition tours can be arranged on request by sending an email to reservations[at]sonicacts[dot]com.
HEREAFTER – An Exhibition in Three Acts is produced in association with Art et Amicitiae, Vlaams Cultuurhuis de Brakke Grond, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and Paradiso.