The International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) announces The Power to Host, an exhibition curated by Maja Ćirić, recipient of ISCP’s 2011 Curator Award, which offers the opportunity for a curator or curatorial collective to present a new group exhibition. This award was established in 2009 for participants in selected curatorial studies programs, as a response to the lack of opportunities for emerging curators to present institutional exhibitions in New York City. Participating artists: Dušica Dražić & Deqa Abshir, Global Alien, Li Mu, Alexandra Navratil, Vladimir Nikolić, Marinella Senatore and Slavs and Tatars + the hospitality shelf.
Addressing the possibility for the international circulation of ideas in the art world, The Power to Host navigates between two different but complementary interpretations of hospitality. Cosmopolitanism, according to Kant, is founded on the term “hospitality” as humanism on the move. For Derrida, to be hospitable it is first necessary that one must have the power to host or some kind of control over the people who are being hosted. This means that guests can be under control: to the closing of boundaries, to nationalism, and even to the exclusion of particular groups. This is Derrida’s possible conception of hospitality, in which our most well-intentioned conceptions of hospitality render the ‘other others’.
Global Alien and Slavs and Tatars, two participating collectives in this exhibition, deconstruct in a humorous way the nation-state by pointing to arts capacity to overcome geopolitical borders and produce new cultural space. While Alexandra Navratil deconstructs power through imagined political and economic spaces, Dušica Dražic has collaborated with an artist from Kenya to create a Technicolor Dreamcoat, a trans-religious symbol that appears in Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Another way of hosting the others – inhabitants of the Lower East Side in New York – is examined by Marinella Senatore whose latest video looks at systems of aggregation and the possibility to exist and think in a collective way. A Tibetan monk hosts the artist Li Mu in a concerned conversation about his art world career as well as his private life, providing inspiring insight. Vladimir Nikolic examines the “rule of commentators” on which the normative art system lies.
This exhibition points to the fact that those who have the possibility to be hosted at ISCP in Brooklyn, with ideal working conditions and access to a professional network, often share an unstable position with artists from those countries who have more difficulties entering the ‘power field’. A ‘power’ hospitality shelf with catalogues and portfolios submitted directly from some of the countries that are absent from the ISCP alumni map will accompany this exhibition.
On June 20 at 6:30pm, Independent Curators International (ICI) will present The Power to Host: A workshop examining actual and potential global art worlds, based on the exhibition. The discussion will be led by Maja Ciric and moderated by Chelsea Haines, ICI’s Education & Public Programs Manager at ICI’s Curatorial Hub at 401 Broadway, suite 1620.
ISCP thanks the following contributors for their generous support: Brooklyn Arts Council, The Greenwich Collection, National Endowment for the Arts and New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.