FOR THOSE WHO STRUGGLE WITH ART:
We love it. We give our lives to it. We submit to its idealism. We make meaning through it. We participate in its social scenes. We are consumed by its sociality. We build communities around it. We are disturbed by it. We are averse to its cliques. We find its institutional forms questionable. We find its funding structures problematic. We find its cozy relationship with power and capital painful. We are outraged by its toxic philanthropy. We are sick of its winner-take-all economy. We are weary of its lack of transparency. We are contemptuous of its star system and how it replicates the power structures that it feigns to question. We feel complicit in its fragmented social hierarchies. We love it. It motivates us to get out of bed. We are committed to its logical irrationalism.
Struggle With Art is a series of meetings at SculptureCenter that aims to address current and pressing issues facing the arts community in New York. Some of these issues include notions of governance, labor, environment, and representation. There are various alliances, positions, road maps, tactics, and strategies for dealing with these matters. Many of us are members of formal and informal groups, schools, institutions, and communities that engage with these questions and consider various ways to contribute to creating a more desirable art world and art in the world. Many of us are trying to “focus despair and depression into theories to live by.” These sessions are extensions of our conversations at dinner tables, bars, and in and out of art spaces: the types of discussions that consider what to do with art spaces in these auspicious times.
This set of discussions takes the form of town hall meetings where we discuss our indignations with a field that we inhabit and resist. Struggle With Art is for those of us who are captivated by the “power of art” and its utopian promise – a promise perpetually broken. Acknowledging that every promise is also a threat, we struggle to keep its promise, and to yield its threat.
Each session will begin with one brief qualification on the topic at hand, followed by an open floor for responses from attendees. All respondents are asked to discuss the qualification from their own perspective, experience, and knowledge. The purpose of this structure is to form a group discussion that listens and is not driven by persuasion, critical one-upmanship, combative crosstalk, and other normative forms of “critical” debate. The sessions provide opportunities to articulate our discontents and to listen to those who have similar struggles describe how they approach and respond to them.
(1) – Unions
Thursday, February 13, 2020 at 7pm
(2) – Representation
Saturday, February 22, 2020 at 4pm
(3) – Governance
Thursday, February 27, 2020 at 7pm
(4) – Climate Emergency
Saturday, March 7, 2020 at 4pm
Each session is one hour long, free, and open to public.
If you plan to come, please RSVP.