August 19, 2014editorial,
Open! published the texts and videos developed on the occasion of the Beyond Allegories debate that took place in the City Council of Amsterdam on May 9, 2014. In Beyond Allegories politicians and artists discussed proposals on the role of art within governance, political mobilisation and action.
The following propositions were developed on the occasion of the Beyond Allegories debate, for which 250 artists, politicians, union representatives, university professors, dramatists, representatives from refugee organisations and NGOs, journalists and students gathered together for seven hours in Amsterdam’s City Council to discuss the role of art within governance, political mobilisation and action. This debate was organised by Ann Demeester (De Hallen | Frans Hals Museum), Carolien Gehrels (until recently Alderman for Art & Culture, PvdA / Labor Party Amsterdam) and the artists Hans van Houwelingen and Jonas Staal in an effort to forge new progressive alliances. The texts will be part of the DVD-book Beyond Allegories, a collection of the resolutions and videos that resulted from the project, which will be published later this year. The videos are also published on this site, as well as a critical essay on the project by writer E.C. Feiss.
E.C. Feiss, On Beyond Allegories
Salima Belhaj & Wunderbaum, Plea for a Free Zone
Mariko Peters, Metahaven & Jonas Staal, Towards an Extra-Parliamentary Democracy!
Yoonis Osman Nuur & Ahmet Öğüt, Political Representation Beyond Citizenship
Dirk Poot & Foundland, Mapping the Deep State
Carolien Gehrels & Hans van Houwelingen, The Creative City: A Blessing for Administration but a Curse for the Arts
Ron Meyer & Matthijs de Bruijne, De Democratisering van de Kunst
Ron Meyer & Matthijs de Bruijne, Democratising the Arts
Ann Demeester is director of Frans Hals Museum | De Hallen, Haarlem.
Carolien Gehrels has been an alderman for the Labor Party (PvdA) in Amsterdam from 2006 to May 2014. In her eight years as an alderman, she was responsible for, among others, economic affairs and art and culture. In 2009 she gave the well-known Boekman lecture Kunstbeleid in een postideologische? samenleving [Art policy in a post-ideological? society], in which she pleaded for a larger involvement of politics with the arts. At the time she stated this about art: "We may also govern in this area. We may also have an opinion. And we may even judge.” See further: www.pvdaamsterdam.nl.
Hans van Houwelingen studied at the Minerva Art Academy in Groningen and at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. His work manifests itself internationally in the form of interventions in public space, exhibitions, lectures and publications, in which he investigates the relations between art, politics and ideology. He publishes regularly in newspapers and magazines. The monograph STIFF – Hans van Houwelingen vs. Public Art (2004) offers an overview of his projects and texts and an extensive reflection on his work. The publication Update (2008) describes the permanent update of the Lorentzmonument in Arnhem during the exhibition Sonsbeek 2008 and Undone (2011) presents nine critical reflections on three recent works. See further: www.hansvanhouwelingen.nl.
Jonas Staal is a visual artist whose work deals with the relation between art, propaganda, and democracy. He is the founder of the artistic and political organization New World Summit, which develops parliaments for stateless political organizations, and the New World Academy (together with BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht), an educational platform for art and politics. His most recent publications include Nosso Lar, Brasília (Capacete & Jap Sam Books, 2014) on the relation between spiritism and modernism in Brazilian architecture. He currently finalizes his PhD research entitled To Make a World: Art as Emancipatory Propaganda at the PhDArts program at Leiden University.