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April 2011

The Inivators’ interrogation room – there is no escape

Last Thursday myself and a small band of Inivators put on a glorious event for ‘Possible Damage’, our exhibition response to Rabih Mroue’s I, The Undersigned – The People are Demanding. We had created audio tours in response to the pieces in the Education Space, with an added surprise. At the end of the recording, people were selected to meet with an Iniva staff member, waiting with a message…

This was me, in a black uniform and a fake badge, smiling brightly and chatting inanely as I led them, either one by one or in small groups of ‘witnesses’, to the interrogation room. A lot of people came along on the night, so a bit of rushed reorganisation was required of us, but everyone who came into the interrogation room left looking anxious, bewildered and slightly shaken by the experience. Discretion was advised to all, but word spread within Iniva gallery, and so the atmosphere was tense, but buzzy and excited.

The event went so well, and after working within a group over several months, it was so exhilarating to see other people enjoying the exhibition, and reacting to our audio tour. All of us are full with such a strong sense of achievement, and I think what amazes me so much about the whole process is that it was a true collaboration between several talented individuals with such different ways of thinking, doing and being. And from that we have curated and produced a show that reflects all of us and that we are all proud of. For me, having never studied or practiced art in this way, it’s a perspective tilting experience that I won’t forget in a hurry.

Our last event within the space is a series of performance lectures on the 30th April. I have no idea what’s happening, which is all the more reason to come and see it.

Hip-hip hooray to all the Inivators who have taken part: Alexandra, Ella, Gita, Hailey, Hussain, Karli, Luke, Quincey, Raziya, Ruth, Ryan, Tara, Yemisi and Yolanda….

Huge thanks to artist Tania El-Khoury for being amazing…

Finally, a heartfelt thanks to Education Curator Teresa Cisneros and Jess Harrington for all their hard work and long hours – there wouldn’t be an exhibition in the first place without you.

by Tara Brown, one of the Inivators

Artist of the week: Coco Fusco

Cuban-American artist Coco Fusco  is one of today´s best-known performance-artists and is often concerned with gender-specific conflicts, migration, cultural colonisation.  Fusco has performed and curated throughout America and internationally, and currently is the Chair of the Fine Art Department at Parsons The New School for Design. Her recent work combines electronic media and performance and much of her work she draws on her Cuban heritage, using language performance and multimedia to explore issues of difference and cutural politics.

A recent example of a performance/ monologue by Fusco is A Room of One’s Own, which explores the expanding role of American women in the ‘War on Terror’. She raises questions about feminism in the 21st century and the ways that political conservatives have appropriated the language of women’s liberation, while also drawing attention to how detention and prisoner abuse led to a reconsideration of the possible legitimacy of torture under the Bush administation.

Fusco published The Bodies that Were Not Ours with Iniva in 2001. This (now sold out) publication gathers together Coco Fusco’s finest writings since 1995, as well as essays, interviews, performance scripts and fotonovelas which take readers on a tour of a ’multicultural landscape’, accompanied by critical introductory essays by Jean Fisher and Caroline Vercoe. There is an audio recording of the artist in conversation with John Akomfrah in Iniva’s digital archive, where the artist discusses the publication and the direction and future of debates around post-colonial cultural discourse.

Coco Fusco will participate in Iniva’s current lecture series, the Keyword Lectures, discussing the term ‘resistance’ with academic Sara Ahmed on May 12 – find out more about this event here.

Crisis of Capitalism: David Harvey RSA Animate

This animation is from last year, however it is still relevant for the financial economy we are still participating in.  In this RSA Animate, renowned academic David Harvey asks if it is time to look beyond capitalism towards a new social order that would allow us to live within a system that really could be responsible, just, and humane?

This is based on a lecture at the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (http://www.thersa.org/).

Art Barter: Trading art for skills or skills for art

Art Barter, a project set up in London promotes circumventing the traditional art markets by placing artists in touch with others to exchange art for skills.  No monetary exchange needed.  Other projects similar to this have existed for some time, however this one has the focus of pairing up artists and people who enjoy art.

Art at the intersection: art & economies

When we talk of economics we are often lead to think about the financial crisis, about banking, about markets and the movements of capital, yet the reach of economic effects extends far beyond this relatively small realm of activity. Economic thinking governs the decisions about the sharing of resources, the division of land and labour, terms of ownership whether that be public or private and the dissemination of wealth and commodities in a world that often denies many the rights to the most basic of life’s needs. During the recent financial crisis some of the stark and unjust effects of the subtle dominance of economics underpinning our lives became very clear.
As the increasing regularity of news stories detail the consequent effects of the weather, of transport and international relationships on the economy we are lead to believe that economics determine our way of life. Yet we rarely focus on the workings or functions of this quiet ruler or consider the decisions that create such a complex system, a system which for many is in accessible.
 
At the Intersection: Art and Economies is a 3 year project in which Iniva will innovate a range of artistic and creative approaches to explore the complex topic of economies.

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