Common Ground

Some key points from Mutualisms statement/invitation:

  • strategies for finding hospitality (notions of the host and guest) and exchange in the context of contemporary art practices
  • flexibility and extendedness of our professional – friend – and artistic network
  • transparent model of structuring and altering artistic contexts, networks and relationships
  • initiate, via the exhibition structure, mutually beneficial relationships
  • connections will possibly develop and pave the way for future collaborations

Our response:

In what ways can we use our collaboration to support the most exciting aspects of Mutualisms? Time and distance are challenges to any relationship. How can we tackle these issues during the infancy of our budding relationship (and as the relationship is defining itself)? In what way can we be self-reflexive about our collaboration in a meaningful way, which feeds us as individuals and a group? What, if any, material form might result from this period of exchange and sharing? Will we, the curators, the public, be satisfied with the results? Who and why should anyone else care?

Many of the points we’re drawn to in the curatorial statement touch on relationships – necessary relationships with each other, with curators and with the public. The development and exploration of these relationships are why we’re drawn to working together. We are developing an evolving process for sharing ideas and responses.

Brief schematic of our loose process (we mean loose process in a good open and productive way, not a lazy “can’t really commit” sort of way):

  • Series of skype meetings to actually talk in real time. Hear the other person’s voice and glimpse a change of facial expression and hear them laugh. This focus has led to valuable tangents, which are harder to stumble upon in email. We discovered shared interests and value conversation as our truly dynamic form of sharing.
  • Posting and sharing of films, articles, and books related to our own research. This has resulted in a series of meditations on that content and valuable tangents.
  • Based on these exchanges, we have identified a structure for the time when we will all be together in Chicago. The week prior to the exhibition will be an intensive period of exchange. Each of us will host a dinner, workshop, and fieldtrip for the other members of our group.

Again, this is intended to allow for a generative and reflexive moment for the collaboration.

Some pretty huge questions:

  • What “results” will this collaboration yield?
  • Will there be anything to look at in the exhibition from the pairing?
  • How will the process/relationship be captured?


Marjolijn Dijkman

Kevin Kaempf

Lora Lode

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