“Agency” is an international initiative that was founded in 1992 by Kobe Matthys and has offices in Brussels. Agency constitutes a growing “list of things” that resist the radical split between the classifications of nature and culture. This list is mostly derived from judicial cases and controversies involving intellectual property (copyrights, patents, trade marks, etc.) from the start of the enclosures of the commons in the 17th century until today, and from various territories of world integrated capitalism. The colonial concept of intellectual property relies on the fundamental assumption of a split between culture and nature, and consequently between expressions and ideas, creations and facts, subjects and objects, humans and non-humans, originality and tradition, individuals and collectives, mind and body. Each “thing” or controversy included on the list bears witness to a resistance and a hesitation in terms of these divisions and exclusions; Agency calls these “things” forth via varying “assemblies” such as exhibitions, performances, and publications, that all speculate around possible inclusions.


The Radical Imaginary: The Social Contract
2018.09.13 - 12.15

The group exhibition The Radical Imaginary: The Social Contract is the first project in a series of exhibitions about the Institution and its history, seeking to understand how artists have either associated themselves with or been opposed to it, gradually inflecting its positions. The judicial system is the institution studied in this initial component.

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Agency: Assembly, performance

Agency calls a public assembly where a group of individuals from various backgrounds related to the court case Hawley v. Canada will be invited to respond to the controversy surrounding Thing 002296 (Mount Whymper), new “thing” presented at VOX. Admission is free, but seats are limited!

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