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Keynote Debate 1: Is There Space for Art Outside of the Market and the State?

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Contributor: Josh Olson
Contributor: Darren Heroux
Contributor: Ron Tran
Artist-run culture has emerged in part as an alternative to the market and the limitations market-driven priorities have placed on the artist in terms of creative autonomy. Highly dependent on state sources of funding in many contexts, artist-run culture has, to some degree, forfeited autonomy to the state in order to meet bureaucratic funding requirements or to avoid censorship and ideological conflict. In this light, the “state vs. the market” dichotomy significantly moulds contemporary artist-run activity including the means of production and distribution for contemporary art. The first keynote debate will examine this dimension of artist-run culture by focusing on the grey zone, if there is one, between reliance on state programs and policies, and the vicissitudes of the market.
Video of Keynote Debate 1
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Keynote Debate 1: Is there space for art outside of the market and the state?Video documentation with: Jaleh Mansoor, Deirdre Logue, Matei Bejenaru, Dirk Fleischmann, Gregory Sholette, Payam Sharifi (Slavs and Tatars) (USA). Deirdre Logue and Allyson Mitchell (Canada)
.Deirdre Logue and Allyson Mitchell are artists and co-founders of FAG Feminist Art Gallery. Operating out of Logue and Mitchell's converted garage in Toronto, FAG’s mission is to grow sustainable feminist art, a mandate reinforced by their inaugural exhibition featuring the work of queer artist Elisha Lim. Their alternative funding system resists the reliance on government or corporate cash, favouring instead a network of feminist community contributors. FAG’s micro-funding program DAG has supported a variety of art projects, among them, Les Blues, a group dedicated to increasing the visibility and histories of queer people of colour and Colour Me Dragg. Recent media exhibitions include the presentation of art porn hybrid Community Action Center by AL Steiner and AK Burns and a focus on the UK based Cinenova collection as animated by local activists and artists. Logue is currently the Development Director at Vtape and Mitchell works as Assistant Professor in the School of Women’s Studies at York University. Both have prolific international art practices. Jaleh Mansoor (Canada/USA)
Mansoor is an Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia. Having worked on materialist abstraction in the context of Marshall Plan Italy, she is interested in complicating the discourse on abstraction, totality, universality, labour, and mere life in contemporaneity. Her areas of teaching and research include modernism, critical theory, historiography, and critical curatorial studies. She works as a critic for Artforum and is a frequent contributor to October, Texte Zur Kunst, and, more recently, The Journal of Aesthetics and Protest. Mansoor wishes to occupy and dilate the relationship (and tension) between activism and scholarship. She has written many catalog essays, including on Blinky Palermo and Agnes Martin. She has also produced monographic studies on, among others, Piero Manzoni, Ed Ruscha, and Mona Hatoum. She co-edited Communities of Sense: Rethinking Aesthetics and Politics (2010). Her current work addresses formal and procedural violence in the work of Alberto Burri, Lucio Fontana, and Piero Manzoni and another on Mere Life in the work of Santiago Sierra. Matei Bejenaru (Romania)
.Matei Bejenaru is an artist and founder of Periferic Biennial in Iași, Romania. Established in 1997 as a performance festival, Periferic transformed into an international artist-run contemporary art biennial for discussions on the historical, socio-political, and cultural contexts of the city. With a group of artists and philosophers from Iași, Bejenaru founded the Vector Association in 2001, a contemporary art institution that supported the local emerging art scene to become locally and internationally visible. Matei Bejenaru is also member of the editorial staff of the magzine "Vector – art and culture in context".As an artist, Matei Bejenaru examines the way globalization affects postcommunist life. His work has been exhibited at many venues worldwide including the second edition of the Tirana Biennial, Thyssen-Bornemisza Contemporary Art (Vienna), Tate Modern London – Level 2 Gallery (2007), Taipei Biennial (2008), and the Western Front Vancouver (2011), among others. Gregory Sholette (USA)
Gregory Sholette is a New York-based artist, writer, and founding member of the artists’ collectives Political Art Documentation/Distribution (PAD/D: 1980-1988), and REPOhistory (1989-2000). His publications include Dark Matter: Art and Politics in an Age of Enterprise Culture (Pluto Press, 2011); Collectivism After Modernism: The Art of Social Imagination after 1945 (with Blake Stimson for University of Minnesota, 2007); and The Interventionists: A Users Manual for the Creative Disruption of Everyday Life (with Nato Thompson for MassMoCA/MIT Press, 2004, 2006, 2008), as well as a special issue of the journal Third Text co-edited with theorist Gene Ray on the theme “Whither Tactical Media.” Sholette’s recent exhibitions include Imaginary Archive (for the Tulca Festival in Galway, Ireland 2011, and for Enjoy Public Art Gallery in Wellington, New Zealand 2010); a contribution to Temporary Services Market Place for Creative Time’s Living as Form (2011); a two-person exhibition at the Santa Fe Art Institute in New Mexico (2011), and the installation Mole Light: God is Truth, Light his Shadow for Plato’s Cave, Brooklyn, New York (2010). Sholette is an Assistant Professor of Sculpture at Queens College: City University of New York (CUNY) and teaches an annual seminar in theory and social practice for the CCC post-graduate research program at Geneva University of Art and Design. Dirk Fleischmann (Germany)
.Fleischmann is an artist based in Frankfurt and Seoul, where he is currently teaching at Cheongju University. His work has been presented in international exhibitions and institutions. Fleischmann has received numerous distinctions and honours, including awards from the Hessische Kulturstiftung and the Stiftung Kunstfonds grant. In 2009, Fleischmann received the Arts & Ecology Residency at ZKM Island in Second Life; a special project by Centre for Art and Media, Karlsruhe (ZKM) and the Royal Society Of The Arts, London (RSA). As a visual artist, he has been creating a business conglomerate since 1997 in which his art inhabits economic forms and becomes embedded into given capitalist structures. His art projects intend to and do create financial profit, which he has continuously re-invested into future projects. Payam Sharifi, Slavs and Tatars (USA). Slavs and Tatars is a faction of polemics and intimacies devoted to an area east of the former Berlin Wall and west of the Great Wall of China known as Eurasia. The collective’s work spans several media, disciplines, and a broad spectrum of cultural registers (high and low). Slavs and Tatars has published "Kidnapping Mountains" (Book Works, 2009), "Love Me, Love Me Not: Changed Names" (onestar press, 2010), and "Molla Nasreddin: the magazine that would’ve, could’ve, should’ve" (JRP Ringier, 2011). Their work has been exhibited at Salt, Istanbul, Tate Modern, the 10th Sharjah, 8th Mercosul, and 3rd Thessaloniki Biennials. After devoting the past five years primarily to two cycles of work, namely, a celebration of complexity in the Caucasus (Kidnapping Mountains, Molla Nasreddin, Hymns of No Resistance) and the unlikely heritage between Poland and Iran (Friendship of Nations: Polish Shi’ite Showbiz, 79.89.09, A Monobrow Manifesto), Slavs and Tatars have begun work on their third cycle, The Faculty of Substitution, on mystical protest and the revolutionary role of the sacred and syncretic. The new cycle of work includes contributions to group exhibitions as well as solo engagements.
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