Mutualisms Symposium

As part of the group exhibition “Mutualisms” Erik Hagoort and Caroline Picard have organized a symposium to take place on Sunday 11th of September from 1-5 pm. That Sunday the artists participating in “Mutualisms” together with guests from Chicago (Kevin Kaempf, Jason Pallas, Anni Holm, Abigail Satinsky and Karsten Lund) and Holland  (Philippine Hoegen, Marjolijn Dijkman, and Rune Peitersen) will gather at the CoProsperity Sphere to address the theme of Art & Reciprocity. 

About Art & Reciprocity:
In general reciprocity is valued positively, especially in contemporary art where it is so often recognized as an essential part of community and resource-sharing. Reciprocity has become a buzzword, especially since the rise of interactive art practices, in which the public in one way or another is invited to participate. The appreciation of reciprocity has challenged the conventional distance and hierarchy between art, artists and the public. It has also triggered collaboration among artists.
Yet, if reciprocity becomes normative, we may start to feel uneasy. Expectations for ‘something in return’ can restrict freedom and autonomy. Mutual expectations may infect unconditional giving and hospitality with the urge of exchange. In the arts a strong tradition has opposed reciprocity. Art’s autonomy should prevail above exchange. So, the question is: what about art and reciprocity?
The aim of the symposium is not so much to answer but to confront this question from different perspectives. In short rounds guests and artists will come forward with their ideas on this matter, by personal stories, experiences, reflections, statements, examples of works.
About the panelists:

Anni Holm

Anni Holm, is the Co-Founder, Director and Curator of People Made Visible, Inc. (PMV). PMV is a non-for-profit organization based in the city of West Chicago with a mission to facilitate community while fulfilling the artistic, social, educational and cultural needs of the community through an innovative physical and web based presence. Besides claiming to be a conceptual artist, she works as the Art Coordinator at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove, IL, and has been a teaching artist with CAPE (Chicago Arts Partnership in Education) since 2009.

http://anniholm.com

Abigail Satinsky

Abigail Satinsky is the director of programming at Threewalls where she amongst other things initiated Community-Supported Art Chicago, a yearly art subscription service of locally produced art and developed PHONEBOOK 3, a directory of independent art spaces, programming, and projects throughout the United States. She is furthermore a member of InCUBATE, a research group dedicated to exploring new approaches to arts administration and arts funding. Their activities have manifested in a series traveling exhibitions called Other Options, an artist residency program, and various other projects such as Sunday Soup.

 http://www.three-walls.org/

http://incubate-chicago.org/

Karsten Lund

Since moving to Chicago, Karsten Lund has worked as a curator and a writer, and pursued a variety of other creative pursuits. He is currently a curatorial assistant at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and from 2007 to 2009 he worked as a research fellow at the Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP). Karsten is currently organizing an experimental exhibition, with four artists, which will be staged at a former factory in West Humboldt Park next month and again at the Hyde Park Art Center in fall 2012.

http://www.mcachicago.org/

http://www.hydeparkart.org/exhibitions/2012/09/two_histories_of_the_world.php

Jason Pallas

Jason Thomas Pallas (USA) has worked on collaborative, community-based projects for the past 8 years. As an example, he founded an after-school and summer arts organization for at-risk Latino youth called “Art Y Más”. In his artistic practice, J. Thomas has teamed up with the late activist Beauty Turner for a series of Ghetto Bus Tours, where participants visit Chicago Housing Authority sites to interact with the residents for mutual understanding. In general, Pallas’ work occupies the intersection of the popular, the personal, and the political.

http://jthomaspallas.com

Kevin Kaempf

“People Powered”, formed by Kevin Kaempf (USA) and Lora Lode(USA), designs experimental pilot programs that integrate art, environmentalism, and communities. Examples are the re-use of bikes (“Shared: Chicago Blue Bikes”) and the recycling of excess latex paint (“Loop Limited”). By presenting these projects in exhibitions and public locations in the city, People Powered creates a platform for discussing how these practices may intersect.

http://www.peoplepowered.org

Rune Peitersen

Rune Peitersen (NL) is a visual artist, focusing on the retinal, but this doesn’t exclude taking position in society as an artist, when needed. Together with other artists Peitersen initiated Platform Re-set, an action group using the knowledge and tools that artists have, to react to alarming recent developments in the political climate in the Netherlands: “At the moment artists and the arts are being talked about, not addressed directly. We want to reaffirm our position in society. ”

http://www.platformre-set.nl/manifesto-en

Philippine Hoegen

Research, display, context, collaboration (often with Carolien Stikker) are some of the keynote concepts in the work and activities of Philippine Hoegen (NL). With other artists in 2010 Philippine Hoegen started Calcite Revolt: an initiative created to provide and research new models of interaction and collaboration between artists, curators and theorists. Critically regarding common structures and hierarchies, its aim is to develop productive, fluid and adventurous ways of contributing to each others development and practice.

http://www.philippinehoegen.com

http://www.calciterevolt.com/bulletin

Marjolijn Dijkman

Through her diverse work Marjolijn Dijkman (NL) often considers the foundations of how we perceive and experience our surroundings. Perception is for Dijkman always embedded, contextual, therefore her practice has concerned itself with for example futurology, public space, knowledge organisation, cartography, utopian architecture or environmentalism.

In 2005 together with Maarten Vanden Eynde she founded Enough Room for Space (ERforS). ERforS is an artist-run organization to create a platform where investigations by individual participants in projects can overlap and lead to new collaborations.

http://www.marjolijndijkman.com

http://www.enoughroomforspace.org


Bad at Sports: How to get to Mutualisms

http://badatsports.com/2011/how-to-get-to-mutualisms/


Art&Reciprocity blog = Awesome

Check out this great blog by our writers Caroline Picard and Erik Hagoort:

http://artandreciprocity.wordpress.com/

see for some samples of their writings the posts below


Beyond Reciprocity

Beyond reciprocity -Posted on July 18, 2011, Author: Erik Hagoort

Invitation The New Conversations 1: La chaîne est belle (The Chain is Beautiful), front side

Joseph Beuys: “If I take care of you, others will take care of me.”

Stanislav Menshikov: “If I take less, others have more.”

These two quotations still resonate in my mind since I attended “La chaîne est belle”; the New Conversations 1, a two and a half day workshop, held at the Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp last June, on the initiative of artist Nico Dockx, in collaboration with Louwrien Wijers.

The front side of the invitation for the workshop showed these two quotations, printed as if written in white chalk on blackboard, just like Joseph Beuys used to make his statements. Beuys’s statement was written down by Louwrien Wijers, while she was attending one of his sessions at the end of 1970s. The second quote is by someone less known in the art world: Russian economist Stanislav Menshikov. While preparing the workshop Nico Dockx and Louwrien Wijers combined both quotations, as guidelines for this workshop on art and economy.

The phrase of Beuys speaks of chain-reciprocity. This is not a dualistic interplay between isolated subjected. It is not “if I take care of you, you will take care of me”, but: “others will take care of me”. The self is not isolated, it is a connected self. This self forms part of a community. The person who cares may reckon on some sort of chain effect, a transposition of care, a solidarity which goes over from one person to the other, as if from one bead in a chain or necklace, to the other. So in the end you may trust that you, being part of this chain, will be cared for too. Here, at first, I started to feel a little bit uneasy with the saying of Beuys. This chain reaction, if I’m right, seems to work as a boomerang. A positive boomerang, a caring boomerang, for sure, but still a boomerang. This reciprocity is about returning to the self. It starts with the self (“If I…”) and it ends with the self (“…of me”). Menshikov’s phrase seemed to me more extreme, more radical: generous. By taking less, he says, others have more. That’s it. No return of favors, no reciprocal expectations, no chain reaction, no boomerang, no possibility of counting on others to be helpful in return. Just stepping back, so there’s more space for somebody else.

Later on, my thoughts were changing. In Menshikov’s statement, one can still discern the language of ranking and banking. Taking less. Having more. As in a debet-credit balance. This doesn’t erase the generosity, but the terms remain within the framework of the stockmarket. On the other hand, underlying Menshikov’s phrase is his concept of compassionate economy. Menshikov advocates an economy based on compassion, enhancing generosity. Compassion goes beyond the stockmarket. Compassion can’t be counted, can’t be balanced, can’t be returned, it goes beyond reciprocity.

Care, used in Beuys’s phrase, also goes beyond reciprocity. A person who cares, doesn’t ‘care’ about reciprocity at all. Care doesn’t limit itself to a chain reaction. Care can’t be calculated. Care doens’t come back. Care is about love, comfort, friendship. By using a word such as care in his lectures on the Erweiterte Kunstbegriff (=Expanded Art Concept) Beuys lets his own way of thinking, which according to his quote seems to be still bound by the reciprocal ‘returning a favor’, expand beyond reciprocity.

Both Beuys and Menshikov use strong words, even catching phrases, which help them to go beyond their (and our?) own way of thinking.

This post: by invitation of Nico Dockx.

Invitation The New Conversations 1: La chaîne est belle (The Chain is Beautiful), back side

More about Compassionate Economy by Stanislav Menshikov: http://www.louwrienwijers.nl/compassionateeconomy.html

http://artandreciprocity.wordpress.com/


Check out the Art and Reciprocity blog

Erik and Caroline are getting started on their blog

http://artandreciprocity.wordpress.com