] Play as protest
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The Conversation Room

Enrico Baj. Begrafenis van de anarchist Pinelli 1972 Collectie Fondazione Marconi. Foto © Peter Tijhuis / Cobra Museum voor Moderne Kunst
Quote Enrico Baj in the publication 'Play as Protest'
Anarchistic magazine De Moker ( 1923-1929

Play as protest

Only fun can validly oppose the system. Enrico Baj

By exposing protest in the works of the Italian artist Enrico Baj (1924-2003), Carrie Pilto (guest-curator of the Cobra Museum) shows that fear of the future, foreigners and an authoritarian state are nothing new. They have not come back with a vengeance, but there were always there (read this review in Metropolis M). In the exhibition Enrico Baj: Play as Protest (February 4 2017- May 14 2017) the Cobra Museum does not hide the anarchist sympathies of the Italian artist.

What was the vision of anarchists in art; what influence did anarchism have as a political movement in the arts; which art form was seen as anarchistic? Andrea Punk dove into the publications of the Dutch anarchist movement during its heyday from 1880 to 1930.

In ‘The Conversation Room’ Carrie Pilto and Andrea Punk will give a lecture after which a conversation will follow on the role of art and design in ‘the engagement against all the forms of destructiveness and oppression that man inflicts on man’.

I think that the libertarian spirit is always present in the artist’s initial impulses. Why do we engage in this activity? For the freedom of invention, creative imagination, adherence to our time, etc. (…) I believe the anarchist mental condition is (…) the best launching pad towards creative implosion. Enrico Baj

Introduction by Rutger van Ree and Richard Niessen