Attempts to Read the World (Differently)

10 September 2014 - 31 December 2018
Location: Hogewal 1-9, The Hague
(unless otherwise indicated)

Program survey (more will follow):
WeberWoche (2014)
Neïl Beloufa: Counting on People (2015)
Gareth Moore: A Burning Bag as a Smoke-Grey Lotus (2015)
Tank Man by Fernando Sánchez Castillo
(2015) in Atrium Den Haag
Display Show (2016)
Another Reality. After Lina Bo Bardi (2016)
Dunja Herzog: The Word For World Is Forest (2016) at 1646
Max de Waard, Monira Al Qadiri, Jean Katambayi: Three Exhibitions in Five Acts (2016 - 2017)
Uncertainty Seminars (2017 - 2018)
Céline Condorelli: Proposals for a Qualitative Society (Spinning) (9 September - 19 November 2017)

"For at least 2500 years every generation thinks that the time has come when the changes taking place can no longer be overseen. The saying by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus ‘Everything flows, nothing stays', is an example of this and every generation since has retained this feeling. But all this time, there have also been attempts to navigate together in this chaotic world."
- Philosopher René Gude

With the program Attempts to Read the World (Differently) Stroom Den Haag  looks in a searching, intuitive way at our present world, the rapid developments therein and possible futures. We make an effort to develop tools and appoint ways in which we can read this tipping period. After all, from within a paradigm shift it is difficult, if not impossible, to imagine the new world that is emerging. Artists are eminently good guides for such a quest. Their antennae, sensitivity, open minded and unbiased look (they are, after all, not subservient to certain structures) allow them to imagine that new world.

In the quote above philosopher René Gude shows us that the fundamental changes and consequent lack of clarity, which many people now experience, are not new. But there is more at stake now. Transition expert Jan  Rotmans speaks of a tilting point: our time is not an era of change, we are actually in the midst of a change of era, a paradigm shift. A change of era is a special period in which existing structures change irreversible. Such a tilting period does not only provide opportunities but is also characterised by chaos, turbulence and uncertainty. Especially now because we are, in the words of Rotmans, in the middle of this transition phase. Things that were familiar are shaken to their foundations and this means that we experience the world as unreadable.

The changes that characterise our current time vary from almost too large and global to fathom (financial, economic and political crises, climate change, ethics of medical technologies to name a few) to small and personal (the use of social media, the way healthcare is organised). Our familiar navigation systems are in need of recalibration.

A first step in this program was taken in September 2014 with the WeberWoche, a program focusing on the ideas of sociologist Max Weber. Weber described in 1919 in Science as a Vocation how rationalisation continues to spread and ‘enchanted' forms of knowledge are pushed out of the public domain. For several days Stroom sought with artists, performers, filmmakers, composers and theorists for forms of enchantment and knowledge production. The polyphonous program offered reflection and a broader framework in which the importance of the non-rational in our contemporary secularised Western society was stressed.

Attempts to Read the World (Differently) is developed in collaboration with Fernando Sánchez Castillo, Céline Condorelli, Dunja Herzog and Neïl Beloufa. These artists take the first steps in a different reading, interpretation and imagining of the world, the recalibration of a navigation system, the search for new forms of knowledge, information or communication. It is not the search for an overarching central truth but rather for a variety of possibilities and interpretations.

Attempts to Read the World (Differently) is made possible in part by: the Mondriaan Fund, Creative Industries Fund NL and the city of The Hague.

photo: logo design: The Rodina
Attempts to Read the World (Differently): Three Exhibitions in Five Acts
photo: design: The Rodina
Uncertainty Seminar #1 with Andrew Norman Wilson
photo: design: The Rodina
Another Reality. After Lina Bo Bardi
photo: design: Studio Manuel Raeder
Dunja Herzog, 'The Word for World is Forest'
photo: courtesy the artist and 1646
Display Show
photo: Design by James Langdon
'Display Show' at Stroom Den Haag, 2016
photo: © Stuart Whipps, courtesy Eastside Projects / Stroom Den Haag
'Tank Man', Fernando Sánchez Castillo, in the exhibition 'Remembered Always', 2015
photo: Mylène Siegers, courtesy Stroom Den Haag
'Tank Man', Fernando Sánchez Castillo, in the exhibition 'Remembered Always', 2015
photo: Mylène Siegers, courtesy Stroom Den Haag
Gareth Moore, 'A Burning Bag as a Smoke-Grey Lotus', 2015
photo: design: The Rodina
Gareth Moore, 'A Burning Bag as a Smoke-Grey Lotus', 2015
photo: Gerrit Schreurs, courtesy Stroom Den Haag
Neïl Beloufa: 'Counting on People'
photo: design: The Rodina
Neïl Beloufa: 'Counting on People', 2015
photo: Hein van Liempd, courtesy Stroom Den Haag
photo: design: The Rodina
'WeberWoche', performance Plastique Fantastique, 2014
photo: Kosta Tonev, courtesy Stroom Den Haag