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Session 3: Intimate Institutions

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Author: Laiwan
Contributor: Josh Olson
Contributor: Darren Heroux
Contributor: Ron Tran
In the context of decreased public funding for the arts in North America and Europe as well as the nearly non-existent financial support elsewhere for the arts, ad hoc, small-scale, temporary, and often nomadic institutions created by artists have taken root in unanticipated sites, appearing in domestic or appropriated spaces that rely upon the collected resources and relationships of artist networks for their survival. Whether through organizational structures or modes of operation, these artist-run initiatives have constructed institutional armatures through largely if not exclusively informal means. Presenters in this session will survey the practices and strategies of artist-run initiatives that involve or encourage intimate institution building grounded in expanded notions of family, kinship, club, and neighbourhood, among other social forms.
Video of Session 3
Video file
Session 3: Intimate Institutions video documentation. With: Mounira al Solh, Candice Hopkins, Isabelle Pauwels, Laiwan Candice Hopkins (Canada)
Hopkins is the Elizabeth Simonfay Curatorial Resident, Indigenous Art, at the National Gallery of Canada and is the former director and curator of the exhibitions program at the Western Front in Vancouver. Her recent curatorial projects include Close Encounters: The Next 500 Years (2011), a multi-venue exhibition in Winnipeg co-curated with Steve Loft, Jenny Western, and Lee-Ann Martin; Recipes for an Encounter (2010), co-curated with Berin Golonu for Dorsky Gallery (New York), and Restaging the Encounter, 2011 edition of Nuit Blanche (Toronto). Hopkins has an MA from the Center for Curatorial Studies and Art in Contemporary Culture at Bard College. Her writing has appeared in texts published by MIT Press, BlackDog Publishing, Revolver, New York University, Fillip, Banff Centre Press, and National Museum of the American Indian, among others. Hopkins has lectured at venues including the Witte de With, Tate Modern, Dakar Biennale, Tate Britain, University of British Columbia, and University of Victoria. Isabelle Pauwels (Canada)
Isabelle Pauwels is a Vancouver-based artist working in video, performance, and installation often engaging in themes of alienation, secrecy, and scandal. Pauwels’ work explores how narrative structures shape our emotional and moral experience. Her interests include hybrid cultural forms, prosumer production, the early history of television and film, and narratives of colonial-era exploration. She has exhibited locally and internationally in solo and group shows at the Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver), Henry Art Gallery (Seattle), Power Plant (Toronto), Signal (Malmo), and Witte de With (Rotterdam). In 2007, she won the VIVA award. She is represented by Catriona Jeffries Gallery (Vancouver). Laiwan (Canada)Laiwan is an artist, writer, and educator recognized for her interdisciplinary practice based in poetics, improvisation, and philosophy. Born in Zimbabwe of Chinese parents, she immigrated to Canada in 1977 to leave the war in Rhodesia. She initiated the OR Gallery (1983) and the First Vancouver Lesbian Film Festival (1988). Recipient of the Vancouver Queer Media Artist Award (2008) and of numerous arts awards over the years, Laiwan exhibits in group and solo shows, curates projects in Canada, the US, and Zimbabwe, publishes in a variety of anthologies and journals. Her cross-disciplinary projects investigate epistemology, technology and viral mobility such as with the interactive website “Call Numbers: The Library Recordings,” and similar projects that explore the performativity of texts to build communal musicality, poetics, and lyricism.She also premiered her performative rock band “LaiwanKwanKage” (2011) with collaborators Vanessa Kwan and Eileen Kage to explore improvisation and somatic intelligence. Her work was featured in the Vancouver Art Gallery’s exhibitions How Soon Is Now: Contemporary Art From Here (2009), Everything, Everyday (2010), and in c.1983 (2012) at Presentation House Gallery. She teaches in the MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts Program at Goddard College in Washington State, USA, and is current Chair of the Board of Directors at grunt gallery.
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