• 26​ 05​ 2017 •
Bik Van Der Pol “The City & the City”

This season’s guest curator is the artist group Bik Van Der Pol, and their workshop series is called “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.

The workshops invite participants to navigate the city in all its complexity to explore new forms of collaboration around writing, storytelling, mapping, and editing as in a collective research. The research 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 will discuss 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 will be 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.

At the end of the workshop phase in fall 2017 there will be a publication as well as a performative presentation of the results through a collaboratively designed event. For several sessions there will be experts in the field of publishing and editing invited. Experience or invested interest in writing, editing, theatre, working with printed matter and/or social media, or theatrical experience, as forms of making public is recommended.

The workshops will be split into three different levels each with three intensive days in research and practice (level 1 and 2) that will later continue with text and performance production (level 3). At the end of the workshop phase in fall 2017 there will be a publication as well as a presentation of the results through a collaboratively designed event.

The main language of the workshop is English but we are much looking for a diverse group with multiple backgrounds and language skills. Ideally the final publication will be multilingual.

Dates: Fri 26 5 – Sun 28 5 2017 Mon 12 6 & Tue 13 6 2017 Sat 15 7 & Sun 16 7 2017 September – November 2017 (tba)

Are you interested in participating? Please send an informal email with a short text why you are interested in the project and/or why you would like to take part in creating a collective publication by 22 May 2017 to youthacademy@academycologne.org. You will receive confirmation from Léa Genoud and Nora Wiedenhöft, directors of the Youth Academy.

The artist duo BIK VAN DER POL

Since 1995 Liesbeth Bik and Jos Van Der Pol have worked in collaboration as Bik Van Der Pol. Working as a collective is a consciously political and artistic decision. With a radical step away from the studio as a place of production they make the artistic workplace itself – the practice – a format of research and production. Each project begins with the development of its parameters in which it presents itself as a performative platform and opens a dialogue with the context. The artistic engagement of Bik Van Der Pol addresses the collective public space. The artist duo explores how and in which way people have access to this space and are able to shape it. They investigate in what ways art can be an instrument or a place for the creation of forms of knowledge and how this relates to “publics”.