18 January 2020
22 February 2020
21 March 2020
Free, booking required
‘How can we create a universal moment that also recognises difference?’ is the question posed by The Laundry Arts for the collective readings that consider strategies for organising and survival in the arts.
The Laundry Arts is a creative platform + studio engaging with the curious, visionary and creatively courageous. Their work is purpose-led, insightful and challenging. They are a growing network of creators and thinkers, leading in their fields, kicking down doors and refusing to be unseen. They curate exhibitions, produce installations, self-publish and collaborate with cultural organisations and brands in the production of experiential content, from dinners to parties and discussions.
21 March 2020: Session 3
With our human gift of reasoning, we have tried to control or overcome the emergent processes that are our own nature, the processes of the planet we live on, and the universe we call home. The result is crisis at each scale we are aware of, from our deepest inner moral sensibilities to the collective scale of climate and planetary health and beyond, to our species in relation to space and time – Adrienne Maree Brown.
For the third and final session of the Iniva x Laundry Arts Reading Together Society, we will be reading a small extract from the progressive organising manual Emergent Strategies by Adrienne Maree Brown. This manual recognises our experiences as non-linear and iterative and teaches us how to work with rather than against our emerging selves and the emerging world, in order to shape the societies we want to see. For Maree Brown Emergence as a concept notices the way small actions and connections create complex systems, patterns that become ecosystems and societies. We will then collectively read Paul Chan’s The Unthinkable Community which brilliantly deconstructs notions of community online vs offline.
What matters here is not how directly these groups confront or try to bring about an end to the wrongs, although this is a vital concern. Rather, it is significant enough that they choose to risk interrupting the seemingly entropic drift of things by organizing themselves against the current – Paul Chan
Chan is critical of the online space as a marketplace and urges us to prioritise presence and collective building, underscoring the importance of friction and difference (which are oft sanitised online) for long term survival of social relations.
22 February 2020: Session 2
For session two of Iniva x The Laundry Arts reading together society, we will read Martin Herbert’s essay on conceptual American artist David Hammons (2016) alongside Kuba Szreder’s ‘Productive Withdrawals: Art Strikes, Art Worlds, and Art as a Practice of Freedom’ (2017)
Herbert traces Hammons art career as one of emergence, withdrawal and return on his own terms from refusing major gallery circuits to taking his work to the streets and audiences the work is intended for, to also negotiating a 90/10 split on his White Cube show.
Szreder’s essay considers how strikes within the art world can reconfigure infrastructural problems articulating productive withdrawal as the organization of an art strike, partaking in a boycott, or occupying art infrastructure that can be best understood as sustaining art as a practice of freedom.
Join us as we continue our interest in considering written works that can help us determine strategies and tools for existing, working and surviving in the arts in 2020.
18 January 2020: Session 1
Ethnicity as Counterculture
“I want to hold up counterculture not as utopia but simply another mode of relations, just like all the other problematic ones, think of counterculture as another way of social being, one in which race functions neither as a wound nor as a badge of diversity. In this formulation, perhaps anarchist and romantic, the counterculture sees race not as a lens through which one critiques the centre but as a site where you may create your own work virtuously unseen by that centre” – Ethnicity as Counterculture
Join us as we start with a reading of Ken Chen’s Ethnicity as Counterculture. An essay taken from ‘As Radical, As Mother, As Salad, As Shelter: What Should Art Institutions Do Now?’ (2018). A collection of essays and interviews that looks at the role of political activism in the art institution, Chen’s essay considers how ethnic art spaces, projects and happenings can function as countercultures or bohemian alternative publics.