In lieu of a public announcement from the usual channels of Extra City in regards to our resignations that were handed in during the month of September, we—as asked by the institution—are publishing ourselves the press release announcing our resignations on all international channels.
—Antonia Alampi, iLiana Fokianaki, Michiel Vandevelde
Extra City and Curatorial Team Part Ways
In September 2017 Kunsthal Extra City reopened its doors after a comprehensive repositioning. In the context of the current (inter)national landscape of contemporary arts, Extra City has resolutely decided in 2017 to foster strong links between society and the arts, whereby keeping the public as a pivotal part of its policy through an explicit focus on strengthening the institution’s local presence, as a basis for the further development of the Kunsthal.
Due to artistic differences in regards to how these decisions and policies are and will be manifested, curators Antonia Alampi, iLiana Fokianaki, and Michiel Vandevelde (the artistic team for 2017–2019) have expressed their desire to end their long-term collaboration with the institution and their resignations were accepted by the board of Kunsthal Extra City.
The curators state that:
“Together we have formulated a program after addressing the mission and vision of the institution and reflecting on the city of Antwerp, one of the most diverse in Europe. We are adamant supporters of instituting through an international scope, for an intergenerational and intersectional audience. Our programming addressed urgent topics that challenge the cities of Europe and Belgium today: the notion of the citizen, the dynamics of (cultural) appropriation, the concept of the nation-state in multicultural European societies, ultra-nationalism, racism, and environmental injustice. We co-curated the exhibition ‘Extra Citizen’ (curatorial Alampi & Fokianaki, public program Vandevelde) and delivered individually the exhibitions ‘On Monumental Silences – Ibrahim Mahama’ (Alampi), ‘Eating Each Other’ (Vandevelde), and ‘Extra States: Nations in Liquidation’ (Fokianaki). All this was possible with the committed help of the staff of Extra City. Our programming will end with the exhibition ‘Dangerous Liaisons: On Environmental Injustice Through Toxic Trades,’ curated by Alampi, that opens on the 22nd of March 2018.”