Block Spring 2007 - Truth Again

19 February 2007 to 27 April 2007
The semesterstarted on 1 March 2007 and ended on 31 August 2007

Cornel Bierens (NL) writer, artist, clinical psychologist
Benda Hofmeyr (ZA) philosopher

Participanting artists:
Andreas Bachmair (D); Tammuz Binshtock (IL/NL); Luc van Esch (NL); Camilla Fehér Ulrich (D); Andrew Fremont-Smith (USA); Zhana Ivanova (BG/GB); Cille Lansade (DK/F); José Manuel Mora Ortiz (E); Janneke Raaphorst (NL); Borut Separovic (NL/HR); Jochen Stechmann (D); Marloeke van der Vlugt (NL); Voin Voynov (BG)

The search for truth is often associated with the ivory tower of academia but in actual fact it falls within the purview of everyone who tries to get to the bottom of things. But does truth exist? Isn’t truth a goal that can never be attained?

Throughout the history of philosophy, this relativistic approach to truth has always been regarded as a reaction against absolutists. Relativism might have reigned supreme during the last decades of the 20th century but our present postmodernist era is drawing to an end. The recent upsurge of fundamentalism and extremism is symptomatic of the turning tide. These fanatical outbursts aside, it is no longer a shame to talk about truth, to believe in it. This is not a mere relapse into absolutism, however. Beyond these binary oppositions there is now talk of truth as something both personal and objective.

Our attempt to make the notion of truth productive in our work as artistic/cultural producers was informed by the thinking of the French philosopher Alain Badiou. According to Badiou, we only come into being in any meaningful sense in relation to an event of truth. A truth-event radically redefines the way things are and can take place in one of four possible settings: in the fervour of artistic production, in the passion of love, in the elation of a scientific discovery, or in the upheaval of a political revolution. Whether artistic, amorous, scientific or political, an event turns the world as we know it upside down. The operative question in the ethic of truths is: how will I continue to exceed my own being? How to become the Immortal that I am capable of being?

Guest teachers/lecturers:
Jan Andriesse (NL); Arthur d’Ansembourg (NL); Christiane Berkvens-Stevelinck (NL); Marijke Besselink (NL); Erik Borgman (NL); Hester Carvalho (NL); Charlotte Dumas (NL); Laura van Dolron (NL); Tijs Goldschmidt (NL); René Gude (NL); Bas Haring (NL); Pieter Hilhorst (NL); Vincent Icke (NL); Erwin Jans (B); Theo Jansen (NL); Clemens Kemme (NL); Marc de Kesel (B); Kees Koonings (NL); David Kremers (USA); Sybille Lammes (NL); Dieter Lesage (B); Klaas Meijer (NL); Henk Oosterling (NL); Matthias Pauwels (B); Susanne Piët (NL); Miriam van Reijen (NL); Joyce Roodnat (NL); Tomador Meihuizen (NL); Karin Trodler (D); Ulay (NL/D); Sjoerd Wagenaar (NL)