Activating Artifacts: About Academia


8 Feb 2017

11 Feb16 Apr 17

Opening: 11 Feb 17, 4:30 PM


De Appel exhibition program opens in its renewed, nomadic form with a solo presentation by the Spanish artist Muntadas: Activating Artifacts: About Academia. Presented at Rozenstraat 59, Amsterdam, and in partnership with the University of Amsterdam.

Activating Artifacts: About Academia is a new exhibition project by Antoni Muntadas. Its aim is to facilitate an interdisciplinary dialogue about higher education: its many limitations as well as new possibilities. 

The exhibition presents an opportunity to critically engage with the structure and function of the global university system. It does so by exploring topics of privatisation, corporatisation, gentrification and globalisation, as well as the complex relationship between the production of knowledge and the economic interests it generates. Although Activating Artifacts: About Academia was initiated and produced in a US context, it can simultaneously be “activated” as a tool to engage the issues from within a variety of geocultural educational frameworks in which these processes resonate.

The exhibition completes Muntadas’s About Academia project with the commission of its second instalment. Whereas About Academia I (2011), produced by and presented at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University, addresses the above issues from the perspective of professors and faculty-affiliated scholars, About Academia II (2017) further elaborates on these themes exclusively from the viewpoint of students. Consisting of two elaborate three-channel video-installations made up from scrolling texts, video interviews, and shots of campus architecture, as well as an intricate architectural installation, the exhibition provokes an open space for the critical examination of academic education.


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