The Caucus

Dan Peterman, Civillian Defence, 2007, sandbags, approx. 1200 pcs., collection of the artist
Installed at Van Abbemuseum for The Caucus, Be[com]ing Dutch
Courtesy the artist and Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven

The Caucus

Eindhoven Caucus
November 9-December 6, 2007

The CAUCUS starts from the principle that art proceeds from a discursive and critical culture. It seeks, in the context of art educational practices, to stimulate and transform. Thinkers and artists from all over the world will come to Eindhoven to inspire the future, and act as interlocutors for a group of local people and international students. Contributors include a broad range of critical theorists such as Rosi Braidotti, Homi K. Bhabha, Galit Eilat, Boris Groys, Dieter Lesage, Chantal Mouffe, Nikos Papastergiadis, Paul Scheffer, Shepherd Steiner, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Gerald Raunig and inspiring artists, writers, and cultural producers such as Yael Bartana, Abdelkader Benali, Igor Dobričić, Tone O. Neilsen, Sarah Pierce, Bik Van der Pol, Renee Ridgway, Artur Žmijewski, and many others. The CAUCUS is developed by Charles Esche, Annie Fletcher and Esra Sarigedik as part of the two year project Be[com]ing Dutch by the Van Abbemuseum and partners.

Central paradoxes of the CAUCUS include:

  • The revival of nationalism versus the reality of globalisation and migration. How can art imagine a way out of this dichotomy?
  • The re-emergence of religion as the dominant cultural identifier versus the secular globalisation of capital. How can art imagine identity differently today?
  • The autonomy of art versus its use (critically, economically and socially)
  • How can a museum effect change in a provincial city (Eindhoven)?
  • Can art change politics, does politics determine art?

See footage of The Caucus as part of the Van Abbe’s presentation in the Museum as Hub introductory presentation from December 1, 2007, through February 24, 2008 and also online at