Jesse Darling

Artists have continually questioned their status and place in society. The widespread vision of the artist as an outsider from the peripheries of social life, a utopia seeker, a celebrity selling works for millions or an erudite nonconformist who voices his or her opinions in the public debate, has spawned many myths concerning their privileges and obligations in the contemporary world. The exhibition formulates a question about the way artists define their status and position in the realm of an ever-widening economic gap: that of the possibility to reconcile dreams of social justice with the needmof artistic freedom and autonomy. At the same time, the show highlights the tension between artists’ rather ...
PublisherOnCurating.org2018
This issue of OnCurating takes political resistance and sanctuary as its subject, with Herman Melville’s nineteenth-century literary avatar Bartleby—famous for his refrain “I would prefer not to”—as its tutelary spirit. Forms of civil disobedience and tricksterism are coterminous agents in artistic and curatorial practices, both historical and contemporary. How to subvert and subvene, how to recast structural mechanisms of suppression and oppression, how to avoid, deny, magnify, spatially disjoint, and refute (earnestly, comically)? By what means can we, as cultural producers, refuse, while fostering a discourse of reparation? The activism now crucial in the face of ascendant political forces bent ...

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