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Session 4: Intimate Institutions

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Contributor: Josh Olson
Contributor: Darren Heroux
Contributor: Ron Tran
Often located in remote areas or outside the programmatic spectrum of mainstream artistic and academic institutions, many artist-run initiatives adopt pedagogical practices into their production and presentation, offering unconventional formats and less formal contexts than offered by either gallery or academic settings. On a smaller and more intimate scale, such initiatives foster the creation of alternative educational models, enable marginalized audiences access to information, and encourage the invention of new and atypical forms of knowledge. This session examines the pedagogical projects artist-run organizations around the world have set in place, among them, kitchen table knowledge production, “webs of matronage,” and detournements to the “not so-secret game of suburban one-upmanship."
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Session 04: Intimate Institutions with Skeena Reece, Chumpon Apisuk, Chantawipa Apisuk, Scott Rogers, Justin Patterson, Deirdre Logue, Allyson Mitchell and Jakob Jakobsen. Skeena Reece (Canada)Skeena Reece, Tsimshian/Gitksan and Cree, is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work includes performance art, spoken word, ‘sacred clowning’, writing, singing, and video art. She often uses humour and satire along with direct engagement of her body to address difficult subjects relating to race, class, leadership, political landscapes, culture, and love. She has exhibited locally and internationally in solo and group shows at Modern Fuel (Kingston) 17th Biennale of Sydney, Nuit Blanche (Toronto) (2009), LIVE Biennale (Vancouver), the Museum of Anthropology at UBC (Vancouver), and the National Museum of the American Indian (Washington, DC). Reece is based on Vancouver Island, on the west coast of Canada. Chumpon & Chantawipa Apisuk (Thailand)Chumpon Apisuk is a founder of Concrete House, an art and community space and the only performance art venue in Thailand. He is also founder and director of Asiatopia, an International Performance Art Festival in Thailand. In 2004, he was nominated as coordinator of Silabha, a cultural program of the 15th International AIDS Conference in Bangkok and is known for his activism in HIV/AIDS, Human Rights, and democracy issues.Chantawipa Apisuk is the founder of the Empower Foundation, an organization that advocates for the rights of sex workers in Thailand, and the collaborative projects and initiatives created by the couple blur the boundaries between art, performance, and activism. Jakob Jakobsen (Denmark)
Jakobsen is an artist, organizer, and activist. Along with Henriette Heise he is co-founder of the Copenhagen Free University (CFU), which opened in May 2001 in their apartment. Jakobsen is also a co-founder of the artist run TV-station tvtv and has participated in exhibitions and projects all over the world. In 2011, Trauma 1–11: Stories about the Copenhagen Free University and the Surrounding Society in the Last Ten Years (an exhibition at the Museet fur Samtidskunst in Roskilde, Denmark) explored CFU’s six years of collective learning and the mechanisms of political control increasingly encroaching upon educational systems. The Free University was an artist-run institution dedicated to the production of critical consciousness and poetic language from 2001 to 2007. 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. Scott Rogers and Justin Patterson (Canada)Rogers and Patterson are artists active in the Arbour Lake Sghool (ALS) founded in 2003 in Calgary. A stage for the creation and display of artistic and critical projects that explore and engage its suburban setting, ALS is run by a loose association of artists, athletes, musicians, trades-people, and students including Rogers and Patterson, Andrew and John Frosst, Wayne Garrett, Ben Jacques, and Stacey Watson. Activities of ALS “excite, entertain, and often serve as comic interludes in the not-so-secret game of suburban one-upmanship.” Rogers is currently studying at the Staedelschule (Frankfurt) and is an MFA candidate at the Glasgow School of Art. He has exhibited nationally and internationally including at The Soap Factory (Minneapolis), the Art Gallery of Alberta (Edmonton), the Southern Alberta Art Gallery (Lethbridge), the Liverpool John Moores University Gallery (Liverpool), and the National Glass Centre (Sunderland). Patterson is a Vancouver-based artist. He received his BFA from the University of Calgary and is active in the art and music scenes of Calgary and Vancouver. He has exhibited his work through the Arbour Lake Sghool including at Toronto Free Gallery, The Art Gallery of Peel, The Art Gallery of Calgary, and The Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery.

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Iain Barbour
Brendan Prost
Institutions by Artists
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