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CURRICULUM: spaces of learning and unlearning
January 16, 2019 @ 9:00 am - March 16, 2019 @ 10:00 pm
Artists: OlaRonke Akinmowo for Free Black Women’s Library, Becca Albee, Amelia Bande, Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo, Christen Clifford, January Hunt, Carolyn Lazard, Candice Lin & Patrick Staff, Julie Tolentino, Quay Quinn Wolf, Sarah Zapata
Curated by: Stamatina Gregory & Jeanne Vaccaro
Curatorial fellow: Java Jones
Opening Reception: Wednesday, January 16, 6-8 PM
Performance by Julie Tolentino & Pigpen
What would a curriculum for collective study and political action look and feel like? Can simply being present together be form of learning, a way of transforming one another? What is recuperable from decades past?
What can we do that we have not yet done?
The second-wave feminist ethos of “the personal is political”-coined to underscore the interconnectedness of individual experience and larger social and political structures-has been, in our contemporary moment, inverted. Popular feminism, as it manifests today-in the news cycle, on social media, in consumer culture-enjoys an almost unprecedented visibility, as it operates through a framework of personal strength and the individual capacity to overcome (and collapses into a capitalist aestheticization of wellness and self-care). The political is now personal. Feminism’s narratives are constrained and enclosed by contemporary economies of information and reception: movements toward social justice have had their vision replaced by the politics of visibility, trapped in an economy of shares, clicks, and likes. How can self-care move from a restoration of one’s individual capacity to a collective, collaborative project? What is the potential for a learning that is haptic, that you can touch and feel?
CURRICULUM: Spaces of Learning and Unlearning explores the potential for collective study outside entrenched forms, such as formal classrooms and university spaces-a study which might move past prevailing modes of circulation. Emerging from a space of reading and revision, these works utilize a range of artistic strategies for intuitive, participatory, haptic learning-from sonic enclosures to ceramic vessels and woolen landscapes to photographic portraits. Together, these works position self-care as an ethical and artistic practice of political action, moving towards ways of reconceiving the interaction of bodies and ideas in the present.
In co-creating forms of collective study for our present moment, CURRICULUM seeks to construct an environment for both contemplation and movement. Taken together, these works ask: what can a personal, spatial practice enable? What histories can be contained, reconstructed, and remade? What traumas can be held and learned from? The exhibition will be activated through a number of performances and programs. The opening on the evening of Wednesday, January 16 features a durational performance by Julie Tolentino and Pig Pen, followed by an open performance workshop on Saturday, January 19. A panel discussion on Saturday, March 2 considers collective strategies for reparative care, featuring artist and organizer Ted Kerr for What Would an HIV Doula Do?, filmmaker and scholar Lana Lin, and Ola Ronke, creator of the Free Black Women’s Library. A performance by Amelia Bande on Saturday, March 9 will function as a collective rehearsal, inviting a new relation between the audience and artworks.
CURRICULUM builds on the foundation of a corollary exhibition, READING ROOM (June 6 – 30, 2018 at Root Division, San Francisco), which considered themes of the revision and reconstruction of feminist texts and canonical figures. Following the work of historical recovery and image remediation which occurs in READING ROOM, CURRICULUM explores the present as a site of renewed potential.