“Assembly (The Contract)”. Agency


Agency calls forth Thing 002115 (Promenades en Pays Basque) from its ‘list of things’ for EL CONTRATO exhibition in AlhóndigaBilbao. Thing 002115 (Promenades en Pays Basque) concerns a dispute between Les Ballets Basques Oldarra de Biarritz and Europa Est over the record Promenades en Pays Basque. The album included recordings of interpretations of folk dance music by Les Ballets Basques Oldarra. The compositions of folk music are considered to be in the public domain, but Oldarra claimed copyright protection for their interpretations of the songs. During the trial Les Ballets Basques Oldarra vs. Europa Est on 28 March 1977 at the Bayonne Regional Court, the judge had to decide if an interpretation of folk music could be protected as an ‘original expression’. This controversy is part of agency’s series of cases related to the speculative question “How can commons become included within art practices?”

On 9 January 2015, 19:00h, Agency will call forth Thing 002115 (Promenades en Pays Basque) in order to let it “bear witness”. During this gathering Agency proposes to carry out a collective reading of certain fragments from the case report ‘Les Ballets Basques Oldarra vs. Europa Est’. Agency will also invite a diverse group of concerned guests to respond to the witnessing of the controversy in question, including: Luis Anguita (professor of Civil Law, Faculty of Law, Universidad Complutense,Madrid), Jon Bagüés (director, Eresbil, Basque music archive), Xabier Erkizia (sound artist, producer, journalist, co-director, ERTZ other music festival, coordinator, Audiolab), Olatz González Abrisketa (anthropologist, professor of Social Anthropology, Faculty of Philosophy and Educational Sciences, UPV/EHU), Garikoitz Mendizabal (txistu player, director of the Bilbao municipal txistulari band), Xabier Zabala (musician and composer).

Assembly (The Contract) will take place in the AlhóndigaBilbao Exhibition Hall. The event is part of the programme of activities for EL CONTRATO, a collaborative project between Bulegoa z/b and AlhóndigaBilbao running between 2 October 2014 and 11 January 2015.

For more information, see www.alhondigabilbao.com

Agency (Brussels, 1992) is an initiative founded by Kobe Matthys. It mainly comprises a growing ‘list of things’ that resists the split between the classifications of nature and culture. This list is mostly derived from legal cases and controversies around intellectual property. Agency invokes ‘things’ from its list in varying ‘assemblies’ inside exhibitions, performances, publications, and other formats exploring in a topological way the operative consequences of the apparatus of intellectual property for an ecology of art practices.