January 24, 2008 - Vera List Center for Art and Politics - On Crafting Protest
January 24, 2008

On Crafting Protest

“Knitting Nation: Phase 1 – Knitting During Wartime”
(from Allison Smith’s Public Art Fund project “The Muster”), 2005
Governors Island, New York City
Photo by Kim Stoddard

Panel Discussion & Craft Reception
Crafting Protest
Saturday, January 26, 2008, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.

The New School, Theresa Lang
Community and Student Center

55 West 13th Street, 2nd floor
New York City


Many contemporary artists are using craft as a largely unregulated place of protest where diverse and timely political statements are being made. Presented as part of a series of talks on agency, the panel proposes that crafting, because it is often social and communal, plays a vital role in the public sphere. The speakers examine the role of craft in forming national identities, especially in times of political turmoil or war; notions of patriotism; feminism and the domestic sphere; and economic models that circumvent conventional market models. By linking the act of production and handmaking in the public realm to political expression, participants will ask: how can art foster political agency?

This program is presented concurrently with the release of the February issue of Modern Painters that features a roundtable discussion by the panelists. Participants of this program have also collaborated on a large-scale knit banner to be unveiled at the event. Following the panel discussion, audience members are invited to an informal craft reception in which panelists will present tactile examples of the materials, machinery, and processes they use in their work.

Julia Bryan-Wilson, art historian and critic, University of California at Irvine

Liz Collins, artist/designer
Sabrina Gschwandtner, artist
Cat Mazza, artist/activist
Allison Smith, artist

This event is presented on occasion of the Vera List Center’s program cycle on “Agency,” and is co-sponsored by Modern Painters. Allison Smith is a 2007 Artists’ Fellowship recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). This presentation is co-sponsored by Artists & Audiences Exchange, a public program of NYFA.

For further information, please visit www.vlc.newschool.edu

Vera List Center for Art and Politics
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