2017 Introduction

What Now? 2017: The Politics of Land

Art in General
145 Plymouth Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Download 2017 Program Booklet:

What Now? 2017, presented by Art in General, was a series of discussions, workshops, screenings, and talks featuring a number of scholars, writers, artists, and historians that investigated present-day land politics through various sociopolitical lenses. The programs addressed environmental issues and public health concerns, including access to and the preservation of cities, settlements, and natural resources; shifting governmental and institutional relationships with borders, indigeneity, and migration; and a renewed interest in the earth as a gendered and dynamic archive of global cultures and histories.

What Now? 2017: The Politics of Land developed multiple lines of inquiry, each illuminating the core geographical and geological influences of political situations worldwide. Ultimately, the events and programs together focused on revisiting the prefix of the word “geopolitics” from the points of view of gendered, racial, stakeholding political subjects. Due to positive critical feedback, Art in General decided to embark on an ambitious, 10-month-long inquiry program.

This year’s What Now? program continues and advances the long-term lines of inquiry and research that began with the previous 2014, 2015 and 2016 iterations. 2014 saw the importance of ‘listening’ emerge from What Now? 2014: Collaboration & Collectivity, 2015 elicited discussions surrounding ‘self-determination’ through What Now? 2015: The Politics of Listening, and 2016 revolved around contemplations of the construction of the self, queer theory, self-determination, mutability, the body, technology and social media, and the ever-evolving relationship between the digital and the material in What Now? 2016: On Future Identities.

Art in General would like to extend special thanks to the key funders of What Now? 2017; the Institute of Museum and Library Services (MA-10-14-0304-14), Humanities New York, and the Trust for Mutual Understanding for their generous support of this initiative. This program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, New York State Council on the Arts, and National Endowment for the Arts. Support has also been provided by Commissioners’ Circle leaders Elaine Goldman, Richard Massey, Jeffery Larsen and Joseph Bolduc; Commissioners’ Circle supporters John and Andrea Nylund and David Solo; and Commissioners’ Circle members Nader Ansary, Rob Colangelo, Don Erenberg, Taymour Grahne, Roya Khadjavi-Heidari, Mary Lapides, Eric Nylund, Leslie Ruff, Steve Shane, and Diana Wege.

Art in General thanks all participants in this symposium for their contribution. The 2017 program was conceived by former Art in General Executive Director Anne Barlow, former Art in General Curatorial Associate Lindsey Berfond, and former Art in General Curator and Programs Manager Kristen Chappa; and carried out in full by current Executive Director and Curator Laurel Ptak, Programs and Operations Manager Lina Alfonso, and Assistant Curator Patrick Jaojoco. Disjointed Territores was presented in partnership with Slought at the University of Pennsylvania, and A Walk in Fukushima was presented in conjunction with a three-day camp for the collective made possible in partnership with the David Winton Bell Gallery at Brown University. We would also like to acknowledge the contributions of the 2017 program advisers: Sandi Hilal, artist, theorist, and co-founder, Decolonizing Architecture; Duane Linklater, artist and Wood Land School co-founder; Lize Mogel, artist and counter-cartographer; Vera List Center for Art and Politics, The New School, New York.

 

Program Schedule:

IEVA EPNERE: SEA OF LIVING MEMORIES

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Artist Ieva Epnere gave an artist’s talk on the role of history, memory, and individuality in post-Soviet Latvia in relation to her recent work, Sea of Living Memories.

 

DINEO SESHEE BOPAPE: SA___KE LEROLE, (SA LEROLE KE___)

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Artist Dineo Seshee Bopape presented on the archival materiality of soil, expanding on issues of memory and presence in her installation work. 

 

JUANLI CARRIÓN: ZEA

Wednesday, February 1-11, 2017

Juanli Carrión hosted a series of workshops around corn as an historical material, using cooking as an entryway into issues around Latin American landscapes and histories.

 

FREYA POWELL: THE SILENCE OF THE UNSAID

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Art in General hosted a screening of artist Freya Powell’s work, The Silence of the Unsaid, based on the strange history of “Mexico’s Bermuda Triangle.”

 

POSTCOMMODITY: COYOTAJE 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Artist collective Postcommodity presented their new installation work, Coyotaje, and spoke about its origins in their large-scale temporary land art project, Repellent Fence.

 

DON’T FOLLOW THE WIND: A WALK IN FUKUSHIMA

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Organizers of Don’t Follow The Wind, an exhibition within Japan’s radioactive Fukushima Exclusion Zone, gave an exhibition walkthrough via VR headsets at Art in General.

 

SLOUGHT: DISJOINTED TERRITORIES

Thursday, July 6, 2017 

Disjointed Territoires, co-organized by Slought, was one of a series of public inquiries into the politics of adaptation with Walter Benjamin’s Moscow Diary as a starting point.

 

DUANE LINKLATER: DISTANCES, ORIGINS, AND OTHER CONCERNS

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Indigenous artist Duane Linklater presented an open letter to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, discussing the cultural politics of museology with several scholars and artists.