Program: Tuesday, December 6, 2016, 7pm - What Now: The Artist-Writer as Activist-Critic
Tuesday, December 6, 2016, 7pm          e-flux, 311 East Broadway, New York, NY 10002, USA

What Now: The Artist-Writer as Activist-Critic

Please join Paper Monument on Tuesday, December 6, at 7pm at e-flux for a conversation about artists writing as a mode of activist critique, with Social Medium: Artists Writing, 2000–2015 contributors Mariam Ghani, Gregory Sholette, and Pablo Helguera, and editor Jennifer Liese. At a moment when activism feels more necessary than ever, we will discuss the strategies and insights offered by these artists’ critical writings and address the question: What do we do now? 

Mariam Ghani’s work recovers and illuminates hidden political histories. She has archived documentation of the human costs of post-9/11 policies (Index of the Disappeared, with Chitra Ganesh, 2004–) and salvaged abandoned footage from the Afghan national film institute (What we left unfinished, 2014–). Her writing has appeared in IbraazManifesta Journal, and Creative Time Reports. Her text in Social Medium, “The Islands of Evasion: Notes on International Art English” (Triple Canopy, 2013), speculates on how opaque “linguistic loopholes” in artists’ writings and speech may serve to mask and protect opposition.

Pablo Helguera is the author of the indispensable guide Education for Socially Engaged Art (2011) and several defining volumes on the social dynamics of contemporary art. His own projects often take an educational turn, as when he traveled in a mobile schoolhouse from Alaska to Chile, giving workshops and performances along the way (The School of Panamerican Unrest, 2003–2006). He has recorded dying languages on wax cylinders (Conservatory of Dead Languages, 2004–) and created a traveling Spanish-language used bookstore (Librería Donceles, 2013–). His text in Social Medium, “The Pieces of the Game,” reflects on power and strategy in the art world by comparing it to chess. 

For four decades, Gregory Sholette has developed a “viable, democratic counter-narrative that, bit-by-bit, gains descriptive power within the larger public discourse.” His latest book, Delirium and Resistance: Activist Art and the Crisis of Capitalism (University of Chicago Press, forthcoming in 2017), persists in documenting activist art that, for its ephemerality, politics, and market resistance, might otherwise remain invisible. “Occupology, Swarmology, Whateverology: The City of (Dis)order vs. the People’s Archives” (Art Journal 2012), his text in Social Medium, surveys the handmade signage, scrawled slogans, and resonant visual record of Occupy Wall Street.

We look forward to seeing you on East Broadway. For more information, contact program [​at​]

“Do The Divisions Between Artist, Writer and Activist Matter Post-Election?”, Art F City
by Emily Colucci

What is an artist’s role in activism? A panel at  e-flux  on Tuesday night explored the question many in the arts community have been wondering since Trump’s election a month ago. The panel  What Now: The Artist-Writer As Activist-Critic  not only considered artist writing as a form of sociopolitical and institutional critique,... Read more.

What Now: The Artist-Writer as Activist-Critic
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