In the framework of Witte de With’s Curatorial Fellowship in 2017, Council initiates Assemblies, an inquiry curated by Grégory Castéra. 

An assembly practices the art of gathering people in order to decide how to act for themselves and for those they represent. Assemblies are common to different cultures around the world and are practiced at different levels of society – family, trade union, state, militant group, business, and religious community. They are situations of collective intelligence that embody, perform and experiment the political (mis)representation of the people concerned, their stakes and the issues they are affected by. Rooted in social and institutional structure, each assembly animates an ecosystem of knowledge production, stages power relations between its stakeholders, and produces images and actions for the issues they deal with. Whether their elaborations are driven by progressist or conservative ideals, the forms of assembly are deeply ambivalent: they can either contribute to the reinforcement or to the transformation of social and political order.

Assembly investigates how the way people gather shapes their thinking and actions. The inquiry gathers cases (historical or contemporary, fictional or real) where assembly can be approached as a practice that stimulates critical thinking, political imaginary and production of objectivity as well as the creation of forms of spoken words, architecture and choreography. The many forms of the assembly are investigated here through the means of contemporary culture production, though cross-fertilised with sciences and politically engaged practices. In an attempt to study, compare, experiment and formalize different experiences, protocols and ethics of assembly, Assembly tends to open a space for experimentation in assembly making. This long-term inquiry will become an anthology of the forms of assembly in 2019-20.

The first event took place in conjunction of Eric Baudelaire’s solo exhibition The Music of Ramón Raquello and his Orchestra on Saturday 22 April 2017, with guest speaker Milad Doueihi, titled The Form of a City as a Political Outcome.

About Council

Founded in 2013, by Grégory Castéra and Sandra Terdjman, Council develop long term inquiries that endeavour to renew the representation of social issues.  Curated in collaboration with Francesca Bertolotti-Bailey and Sandra Terdjman, Assemblies is Council’s latest inquiry and yet its emphasis on structure makes it the underpinning question of all Council’s activities. The project at Witte de With represents its first iteration and constitutes its initial research. In collaboration with Witte de With’s team, Council will conceive 4 public events that will appropriate specific cases of assembly trough one commissioned talk that will lead to the publication of an essay (3-5,000 words). Council is an institution that researches, produces and supports artists and projects that endeavour to renew the representation of societal issues. Council develop long-term inquiries that address political, social and environmental issues and compose different knowledge – from the arts, the sciences and the civic society. The inquiries generate a variety of programmes: artists’ commissions, exhibitions, workshops, conversations, and publications. Council also grants fellowships in support of individuals working in the arts and humanities whose practice effects significant social change. Council operates as a collective of permanent members and revolving collaborators, both locally and internationally. Website under construction: