A State of Exception

27 March till 3 April 2019

On 27 March, A State of Exception opens. A modest exhibition, but given this weeks election results a very relevant one. The exhibition shows works by artist Christopher Meerdo (USA), documentary makers Alina Schmuch and Franca Scholz (D), reaercher/designer Thomas Stratmann (D) and architect Joram Raaijmakers (NL).

Their work focuses on the notions of the totalitarian state, ostracism, bias, oppression and discrimination, examined in the design assignment for a new, European identity. On the occasion of this opening and in addition to the exhibition, there will be a debate on these topics at Bureau Europa.

Debate evening Wednesday 27 March
According to American sociologist Neil Fligstein, our idea of who we are is framed in response to a group of ‘Others’. However, this us/them dichotomy is also used and abused by totalitarian regimes, both past and present, to maintain structures of control, oppression, and ostracism. During this debate evening, the us/them dichotomy is examined through one of the most urgent issues in Europe today: migration.

After an introduction by Aline Sierp (Assistent Professor European Studies at Maastricht University) on European identity, migration, integration and social dichotomy, Christopher Meerdo will present his work Eigengrau (2017) and designer Thomas Stratmann his research The Arson Archive (2018).

Led by moderators Saskia van Stein, director Bureau Europa and Huib Haye van der Werf, curator artistic programme Jan van Eyck Academie, the panel members Thomas Stratmann, Christopher Meerdo, prof. Maarten Vink (Department of Political Science, Maastricht University), Luc Winants (coordinator refugees Province of Limburg), and Aline Sierp (assistent professor European Studies Maastricht University) will discuss the topic.

Joint project 
This debat evening and exhibition - in which artistic, social and scientific perspectives meet - is a joined project by Maastricht University (Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences), the Jan Van Eyck Academie, and Bureau Europa, platform for architecture and design and it concludes the E-WORDS project.

The E-WORDS projects is a research project and collaboration between universities and cultural institutions in Maastricht, Siena, Krakow, and Sibiu. In E-WORDS, the notions of the totalitarian state, ostracism, prejudice, oppression, and discrimination are examined in the design assignment for a new European identity.

Date debate: 27 March 2018, 20.00 – 22.00
Installation: 27 March to 3 April
Location:  Bureau Europa, platform for architecture and design
Language: English
Admission: opening and debate are free. €5. €3 students/school pupils. Free for museum card holders

Graphic design by Lyanne Polderman

The Arson Archive - Thomas Stratmann

We Can - Alina Schmuch and Franca Scholz

Metadata - Christopher Meerdo

Control - Joram Raaijmakers