Extra States: Nations in Liquidation

22.09 — 16.12.2018 Group exhibition

Curated by iLiana Fokianaki

Participating artists Sven Augustijnen, Dora Budor, Chto Delat, Goldin & Senneby, Núria Güell, Femke Herregraven, Sanja Iveković, Sophie Jung, Kapwani Kiwanga, Metahaven, Nástio Mosquito, Trevor Paglen, Rebecka Thor & Petra Bauer, Anton Vidokle & Pelin Tan

Scenography by Olivier Goethals

Where do we stand as citizens when “extra states” such as the European Union, Facebook, the International Monetary Fund or the European Central Bank affect our daily life? How do we experience “the state” in contemporary society? What actual power do the traditional states have today to govern and define cities?

‘Extra States: Nations in Liquidation’ brings together artists whose works and projects aim to critically address, recompose or bypass the traditional readings of the state. It operates as a continuation of the exhibition ‘Extra Citizen’ (curated by iLiana Fokianaki and Antonia Alampi in September-December 2017), reflecting on the scope of citizenship today.

‘Extra States: Nations in Liquidation’ – a title inspired by a chapter in H.G. Wells’ prophetic 1916 book ‘What is Coming?’ – seeks to peer into the possible near futures of international politics, economics and civic society by unravelling the core structures that sustain them. In light of the current conditions – whereby capitalism has reduced state sovereignty, while at the same time the notion of the nation-state is re-emerging through nationalistic rhetoric – the exhibition asks: what does the traditional state represent today? How much agency and effect do “extra state” power structures have, in the form of political ideologies, multinational companies, supra-state bodies and others, and to what extent can they transcend and bypass the state as we know it?

In its attempt to re-read the notion of statehood, the exhibition aims to go beyond the classical interpretations of the state. Instead it explores the “extra" in and beyond the state, displaying the practices of artists with different approaches to the topic: some aim to reveal the little-known activities of the deep state (hushed or top-secret missions of governmental bodies) or share their artistic position vis-a-vis the notion of statehood or the concept of nationality, while others examine socio-political movements striving towards an emancipatory civic society.

Through divergent readings, 'Extra States' attempts to create an alternative “grammar” of different state formations, resulting in a mapping of emerging and contesting world orders, alternative or transnational coalitions, that define not just the state as a political model, but our manifold states of being in the world today.

Location Kunsthal Extra City - Antwerpen-Berchem, Eikelstraat 25-31, 2600 Antwerpen