Jonas Staal (Amsterdam)

Performing Absence

How do places like Catalonia, the Basque Country, Kurdistan, Baluchistan, Azawad, West-Papua, and the Aboriginal Nations enter into an art practice? In this lecture-performance, Staal who is founder of New World Summit, an organization working with territories excluded from democracy, conjures the political history of art, while contemplating the artistic history of politics in connection with his recent commission to build a parliament for the autonomous Kurdish region of Rojava, (Northern Syria).

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Jonas Staal, Performing Absence, 2016. Performance documentation FIELD MEETING: Thinking Practice, November 11th at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Photo: Renata Carciofolo.


In his writings and works, Jonas Staal examines the relationship between art, democracy and propaganda to articulate ways in which art can engage in constructing new understandings of power. Since 2012, the New World Summit has taken the shape of large-scale architectural installations and other projects in theaters, public spaces, biennales and art institutions in Berlin (2012), Venice (2013) Brussels (2014), and Utrecht (2015). He is currently working on his PHD at the University of Propaganda.

New World Summit, Rojava, Democratic Self-Administration of Rojava and Studio Jonas Staal, 2015-16