Gustav Metzger Symposium
Mathieu Copeland, Ivor Davies, Elizabeth Fisher, Andrea Gregson, Stewart Home, Pontus Kyander, Emma Ridgway, Eva Scharrer, Sören Schmeling, Helen Phillips and John Plant.
Gustav Metzger: The Conscience of the Art World
International Symposium

Friday 26 January 2018
Nutshuis Den Haag

10:00‑11:00 Doors open
10:30‑10:35 Welcome by Marie-José Sondeijker (director West Den Haag)
10:35‑10:40 Introduction Exhibition + Symposium by Ula Dajerling and Leanne Dmyterko (curators)

Session 1
Auto-Creative / Auto-Destructive Art

Conversation on auto-destructive and auto-creative art, interdisciplinary in Gustav’s work, significance and aftermath of DIAS and how it relates to the concept of transformation and social change.

10:40‑11:05 Mathieu Copeland: Auto-Creative Art: Liquid Crystal Environment
11:05‑11:15 Helen Phillips: Gustav Metzger and the Ravensbourne Symposium on Creation Destruction & Chemical, ’66


Tea Break
11:30‑11:40 John Plant: International Coalition for the Liquidation of Art and the project ‘Extremes Touch’
11:40‑11:50 Lizzie Fisher: On iconoclasm and interdisciplinarity in Gustav’s work
11:50‑12:00 Ivor Davies: Personal experience of working with Metzger and the aftermath of DIAS
12:00‑13:00 Mathieu Copeland, Ivor Davies, Lizzie Fisher & John Plant:
Panel discussion followed by Q&A, Chaired by Ivor Davies


Lunch Break
14:00‑14:15 Performance EastWind Attack
recorder and bagpipe player Jakob Jakobović and percussionist/composer Emil Tan Erten

Session 2
On Passive-Explosive and Years without Art

In his contribution to the 1974 exhibition Art into Society – Society into Art at the ICA in London, Metzger called for the elimination of the contemporary art scene in its heavily commercialised form. In his essay ‘Years without Art’ he called on artists worldwide to renounce any form of artistic production between the years 1977 and 1980 to encourage the collapse of the art market. Through ‘Passive – explosive’, a design for a radical exhibition, Gustav Metzger, Klaus Staeck and Cordula Frowein envisioned the transformation of humanity, from passive individuals to active members of socie ty in view of the explosive situation of the nuclear arms race.

14:15‑14:30 Steward Home: On art, activism and art strike
14:30‑15:00 Sören Schmeling: A Museum for Action not for Protection
On the process of a museum for action: Passiv-Explosiv and the significance of the Years without Art
15:00‑15:30 Steward Home & Sören Schmeling: Discussion followed by Q & A


Tea Break

Session 3
Ethics into aesthetics: Gustav Metzger and the politicisation of the artistic domain

Conversation on the artist’s role in social and political change and Metzger as the conscience of the art world, exploring Gustav’s role and positioning as activist-artist, his involvement in anti-nuclear campaigns, as well as the various ‘appeals’ he has made to artists and society to become more politically engaged.

16:00‑16:30 Pontus Kyander: Keynote Lecture
On aspects of activism in a selection of Metzger’s works and Gustav as artist/activist
16:30‑16:40 Eva Scharrer: On Stockholm June/the Sharjah Biënnale
16:40‑16:50 Emma Ridgway: On activism and how it influenced Gustav’s artistic practice
16:50‑17:00 Andrea Gregson: working with Gustav on projects Facing Extinction and Remember Nature
17:00‑18:00 Andrea Gregson, Emma Ridgway & Eva Scharrer:
Panel discussion followed by Q&A, Chaired by Pontus Kyander


Drinks at exhibition: Gustav Metzger: Ethics into Aesthetics at West, Lange Voorhout 34 (10 min. walk)