artists & participants
From 11 June until 25 September, the Fort of Asperen, part of the New Dutch Waterline, is the scene for a large international group exhibition curated by Bik Van der Pol.
Participating artists include: Lara Almarcegui, Tarek Atoui, Marc Bijl, André Cadère / Alain Fleischer, Critical Art Ensemble, Teddy Cruz, Martijn Engelbregt, Tim Etchells / Vlatka Horvat, Harun Farocki, Zachary Formwalt, Freddy Heineken, Runa Islam, Jeroen Jongeleen, Otto Karvonen, Jasper Niens, Navid Nuur, the Mobile Academy/Hannah Hurtzig, Cesare Pietroiusti, Åsa Sonjasdotter, Hito Steyerl, Pilvi Takala, Javier Téllez, Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas, The Yes Men, Artur Żmijewski.
The Fort of Asperen was erected in the 19th Century, but it was not until 12 April 1940 that the Fort was first prepared for war. Yet, the New Dutch Waterline became immediately obsolete as the German Luftwaffe flew over the Fort without problems; dropping their paratroopers far behind its defense line. This particular moment marked the end of the New Waterline's military function.
The system, although ingenious, never offered an adequate solution against 'intruders'. You could say the defense system was out-dated from the start, as it was based upon the outdated defensive principles of the first Dutch Waterline. To use this example as a metaphor we might question if it is at all possible, or desirable, for a society to try and keep out 'intruders' at all costs. The erected defense system turns out to be, despite all efforts, no match for the resourcefulness and imagination of the opponent who – often with amazingly simple means – escapes, breaks in, strikes back, or sets out another path.
Over time these 'means' have developed. Today, warfare follows a different trajectory, even more closely linked to economical and financial mobilization, the consequences of globalization and migration, technical innovation, and political interests. Warfare has developed a different guise. An important part of it takes place from afar; behind the keyboard, on the stockmarket, in the blogs and the media: places without any particular local fixture. Driven by economic efficiency and the growing influence of technical resources, an increasingly sophisticated arsenal of tools and strategies is developed to localize, identify, isolate, control and manipulate subjects. Speeded up by mass-media and populism, existence has become a rat-race to create the illusion of ultimate control and stability, set against the backdrop of capitalism, globalization and its related crises.
'Too late, too little, (and how) to fail gracefully' is inspired by the irony of Fort's military past. This summer the Fort will be home to a large scale multidisciplinary manifestation, that reflects on the impossibility and undesirability of building fortifications and creating expectations that are not (or cannot be) met. The project is articulated around the theme of 'intruders' and looks critically and with some irony to societal boundaries and barriers. When do we perceive the other as a threat? How are social barriers erected and how are these undermined? The manifestation strives, through artists projects and activities, to incite a broad audience to think about how territories are defined. Do borders indeed offer desired safety and protection? Or are they merely a mental construct?
The various artists projects and activities are developed under code-names, such as Trojan Horses, The Historical Fort, Early Warning Systems, Smokescreens and Camouflage, the Campaign and Infiltrators – opening the project to historical and contemporary issues, from ecology to warfare, internet developments and information terrorism, ownership and collectivity. The manifestation consists an exhibition and public program mediated by an imbedded publicity campaign, in the fort and its surroundings, with lectures, film screenings, installations, performances, and more.
The accompanying film program curated by Vincent Stroep is structured around the themes of Military architecture (Knut Asdam, Brian Doyle, Amir Yatzivs); the Infiltrator (Mads Brügger, Walyer Heynowski/Gerhard Sheumann, Zelimir Zilnik) and National Identity (Zachary Formwalt, Elias Grootaers, Robert Oey)
only in german
Too late, too little, (and how) to fail gracefully
Kurator: Bik Van der Pol
Künstler: Lara Almarcegui, Tarek Atoui, Marc Bijl, Andre Cadere / Alain Fleischer, Critical Art Ensemble , Teddy Cruz, Martijn Engelbregt, Tim Etchells / Vlatka Horvat, Harun Farocki, Zachary Formwalt, Freddy Heineken, Runa Islam, Jeroen Jongeleen, Otto Karvonen, Jasper Niens, Navid Nuur, the Mobile Academy / Hannah Hurtzig, Cesare Pietroiusti, Asa Sonjasdotter, Hito Steyerl, Pilvi Takala, Javier Téllez, Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas, The Yes Men , Artur Zmijewski.