April 29, 2016 - The Showroom - Common Practice: "Practicing Solidarity"
April 29, 2016

The Showroom

Courtesy Common Practice.

Common Practice: "Practicing Solidarity"
Third research paper written by London-based artist and researcher Carla Cruz

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Common Practice launches its third research paper "Practicing Solidarity," written by London-based artist and researcher Carla Cruz

The paper builds on the conference "Public Assets," which Common Practice organised with Andrea Phillips in February 2015. It expands on notions of meritocracy and solidarity that have been examined by Phillips and members of Common Practice and their associates in recent public discussions. The paper reviews the increasingly competitive nature of the arts sector, and questions the consequences of opting out. Finally it highlights the emergence of cooperation and solidarity as strategies to overcome the competitiveness, individualisation and the precarity of those who work in the arts. 

"Practicing Solidarity" is available to download from the Common Practice website, where video documentation of the "Public Assets" conference is also available for viewing.

"Practicing Solidarity" and "Public Assets" add to ongoing research by Common Practice on questions of value, measure and sustainability in relation to the position of small scale arts organisations. They follow on from two previous papers, "Size Matters: Notes towards a Better Understanding of the Value, Operation and Potential of Small Visual Arts Organisations," by Sarah Thelwall, 2011, and "Value, Measure, Sustainability: Ideas Towards the Future of the Small-Scale Visual Arts Sector" by Rebecca Gordon Nesbitt, 2012.

Common Practice, London, founded in 2009, is an advocacy group working for the recognition and fostering of the small-scale contemporary visual arts sector in London. The group aims to promote the value of the sector and its activities, act as a knowledge base and resource for members and affiliated organisations, and develop a dialogue with other visual art organisations on a local, national and international level. The group’s members are Afterall, Chisenhale Gallery, Electra, Gasworks, LUX, Matt’s Gallery, The Showroom, and Studio Voltaire—together representing a diverse range of activities including commissioning, production, publishing, research, exhibitions, residencies and artists’ studios.

Carla Cruz is a London-based artist whose projects experiment with forms of collectivity, the erasure of authorship and practices that take place outside and in defiance of the mainstream art system. Carla’s research has resulted in the genesis of a community cultural centre in Guimarães, rural Portugal, called RASTILHO, and the feminist exhibition project All My Independent Women. Carla has a practiced based PhD at Goldsmiths University of London; she has recently completed the residency Finding Money at Gasworks/Open School East, London in collaboration with Antonio Contador supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Cruz is currently an AHRC funded Research Associate for Goldsmiths’ Department of Art, based at the London-Walthamstow community centre The Mill.

"Practicing Solidarity" and "Public Assets" were commissioned and produced with support from Arts Council England through the Contemporary Visual Arts Network

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