De Appel arts centre is pleased to announce Hello, my name is Boycott, the first of a series of events around the topic of boycott and censorship in the field of art and culture. Although this topic is preceded by a long history, from the first Salon des Refusés in the 19th C. to the multiple ways artists and cultural practitioners have been censored or self-withdrawn, it recently became a recurring issue once again. In an attempt to discuss a series of ‘biennial episodes’ framed within a particular political, social and economical global context, the invited speakers Clare Butcher, Yazan Khalili and Nicoline van Harskamp will share their perspectives and experiences with Lorenzo Benedetti. This event looks to foster an ongoing debate with the participating public and prepare the ground for the second chapter in March 2015. The era of post-globalization seems to be producing new types of borders in the field of art and culture. The collapse of the wall and the increased connectedness of the world through developments in communication technology have sparked changes that have started to influence a condition of thinking. The boycott as a call serves as a form of protest, for example to the kind of companies sponsoring the manifestation, or to a certain government policy. Mayor biennials like the ones in Istanbul (2013), Sydney (2013), Manifesta in Russia (2014) and São Paulo Biennial (2014) were, or still are, under pressure of artists’ withdrawal and the public opinion. The relation between politics and art has become a pressing item in defining the possibility of free expression in a globalized world. A number of questions radiate from the recent issues surrounding boycott and censorship:
– Is the art world still globalized at a moment in which boycotting is happening in several countries?
– Will this situation create different ways of spreading and presenting art and culture?
– What is the role of the public? For whom are art exhibitions, biennials, etc.?
– Can a boycott, as a symbolic value, affect our way of thinking, in the sense that making art should be a free dimension of thinking and being? For this opportunity, curator Clare Butcher, and artists Yazan Khalili and Nicoline van Harskamp will discuss this topic from their own practices and open the debate to the public. Butcher will share an ongoing research co-developed together with Eloise Sweetman in relation with the boycott at the recent Sao Paulo Biennial “How to think about things that don’t exist”. On the other hand, van Harskamp will give her insight after the involvement in Sydney Biennial’s boycott to Transfield funds. Finally, in an attempt to deconstruct the relationship between the art market and notions of solidarity. Khalili will question the involvement of several international artists and their in the recent organized “Closer to Gaza” auction, an initiative organized in Berlin after the last attack on this region. Clare Butcher (1985, Harare, Zimbabwe) is a curator and cooker who teaches at the Rietveld Academy. Her presentation is part of a long-term research project for her Masters at the School of Missing Studies (Sandberg Institute). Yazan Khalidi’s (1981, Palestine) is an architect, writer, sporadic curator and a visual artist doing his Master at Sandberg Institute. Nicoline van Harskamp (1975, Netherlands) is an Amsterdam based artist who is interested in the relation between politics and language. Hallo my name is boycott, is the first of a series of events organized by Renata Cervetto (1985, Argentina), ex alumna of the Curatorial Programme 13/14, who was awarded the first Curatorial Fellowship of de Appel arts centre.