What Are We Gonna Do Now?
Guests this month are Curator Olga Kopenkina and Artist and Writer, Gregory Sholette with their take on what to expect, do, and the mechanics of contemporary protest now. In the wake of the recent presidential election. many have expressed uncertainty about how best to proceed, how to incorporate protest into one's creative practice. For this episode of Live Culture - the last of the year –I spoke with the two recently in their New York apartment where I recorded our conversation about their various projects, our collective predicament, Feminism, Human Rights and how to engage in protest in a meaningful way.
About Olga Kopenkina: She is a Belarus-born, New York-based independent curator and art critic. Her exhibitions include the recent Feminism is Politics! at the Pratt Manhattan Gallery, Lenin Icebreaker Revisited, at the NY Austrian Cultural Forum; Sound of Silence: Art during Dictatorship, EFA Project Space, NY,; Reading Lenin with Corporations , Russia: Significant Other, Anna Akhmatova Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia, Post-Diasporas: Voyages and Missions at the First Moscow Biennale, Moscow. Kopenkina has contributed to such publications as Art Journal, Moscow Art Magazine, ArtMargins, Manifesta Journal, Modern Painters, Afterimage, and others. She is an adjunct professor at New York University, Steinhardt School for Arts and Art Professions, Department of Media, Culture, and Communication. Olga's Upcoming exhibit, co-curated with Yevgeniy Fiks is The Work of Love, The Queer of Labor at Franklin Street Works in Stamford, CT, which will run from May 13 - August 17, 2017.
About Gregory Sholette: He is a New York City based artist, writer, and core member of the activist art collective Gulf Labor Coalition, a group of artists advocating for migrant workers constructing museums in Abu Dhabi. He is a founding member of Political Art Documentation/Distribution, which issued publications on politically engaged art in the 1980s; of REPOhistory, which repossessed suppressed histories in New York in the 1990s. Written works include dozens of essays, three edited volumes, including The Interventionists: A Manuel for the Creative Disruption of Everyday Life, Co-authored with Nato Thompson, and It’s the Political Economy, Stupid , as well as his own works Dark Matter: Art and Politics in an Age of Enterprise Culture , and Delirium and Resistance: Activist Art and The Crisis Of Capitalism. Sholette has documented four decades of activist art that, for its ephemerality, politics, and market resistance, might otherwise remain invisible. He has contributed to such journals as Eflux, Critical Inquiry, Texte zur Kunst, October, CAA Art Journal and Manifesta Journal among other publications. His recent art installations include Imaginary Archive at the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania and the White Box at Zeppelin University, Germany. His collaborative performance Precarious Workers Pageant premiered at the 2015 Venice Biennalle. Sholette is an Associate Professor in the Queens College Art Department, City University of New York where he helped establish the new MFA Concentration SPQ (Social Practice Queens). He has a forthcoming book: Activist Art Reloaded: Essays on Oppositional Culture and Capitalist Crisis: 1997-2017, Contracted by Pluto Press.
Gregory's latest exhibit Darker runs from January 7-29 at Station Independent Projects, NY. This is Sholette's third solo exhibition at this venue. For Darker he will present a series of ink, pencil and acrylic wash drawings portraying scenes of recent activist art and direct political resistance based on photographs of activist art and other political protests.
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