Capitalism Catch-22 – On The Theme

Capitalism Catch-22


In 2013 the Impakt Festival will investigate capitalism and the current economic crisis. Is capitalism at the root of crises or actually the driving force behind progress and prosperity? Are there alternatives for the current system or are we stuck with the rules as set by capitalism, such as ongoing growth of production and consumption? To this day capitalism seems to be the only economic system to function, but especially since 2008 and the consecutive economical crises the faith in this complex system shrinks more and more. As the population of the world grows, energy and natural resources are running out, and we find ourselves stuck with a dilemma, a catch-22: is a system based on constant growth incapable of dealing with less production and consumption, and therefore doomed to fail? Important sub-themes in this year’s festival include ideas on a fair division of wealth, the (in)transparency of financial markets and the growing complexity of their products, the role of the media industry in all of this and the search for alternative options.In order to approach the theme from multiple angles and perspectives Impakt selected three curatorial parties, representing a diverse programme: Amsterdam-based collective Monnik, British curator Benjamin Fallon and German film curator Florian Wüst. At several locations in Utrecht, such as Theater Kikker, ’t Hoogt and BAK Impakt will be present from 30 October to 3 November with lectures, workshops, fine arts, film and music. The exhibition at BAK opens prior to the festival and can be visited from 18 October until 3 November. 

Film Programme The film programme of the Impakt Festival 2013 is compiled by German curator Florian Wüst. According to him, cinema and the way financial transactions are made today are not that different. This year’s film programme adresses the ambivalence of our ways to exploit resources, do business, and consume, but also reflects on alternative economic models and practices of resistance against the ever growing gap between rich and poor which threatens to disintegrate societies in the West and elsewhere. Wüst contextualizes capitalism in an art, film and media historic programme of video art, film fragments and archive footage: from the reconstruction of Western Europe after World War II to the crash in 2008 and the current state of the financial system. 

Main Programme Amsterdam-based collective Monnik will curate the lectures, panels and workshops for the festival. Monnik is an academic and artistic laboratory for investigation, imagination and storytelling, committed to a more courageous society. They will shape the Impakt Festival programme using the most valuable product in the majority of households; the car. A symbol of efficient mass production, personal property and freedom, but at the same time major consumer of limited fossil resources, and therefore the ideal starting point for the festival program. Monnik investigates capitalism as a product of our daily choices and wishes, from African cars based on Western trash to living out of your car due to a lack of money.

Festival Exhibition

Like every year the festival exhibition is an important part of the Impakt Festival. British curator Benjamin Fallon is responsible for the selection of works shown in this exhibition at BAK, Basis voor Actuele Kunst.The basis for Fallon’s curatorial project is the fact that capitalism, in spite of the crisis of the past several years has seen a paradoxical strengthening of its position in the world as seemingly the only mode of organisation available to us. The festival exhibition addresses our entangled position within the flows of globalized capital, variably looking at how we got here, our situation now and potential futures both utopian and dystopian.