Gregory Sholette: Precarious Workers of the (Art) World Unite!

Friday, October 9
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Cochrane-Woods Art Center, Room 157
5540 South Greenwood Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637

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Artist, writer and activist Gregory Sholette discussed the varied tactics associated with Gulf Labor Coalition as they seek to call attention to the plight of precarious migrant workers in Abu Dhabi where a new Guggenheim Museum is in the works, followed by an examination of Marina Naprushkina's sustainable art project in the Moabit section of Berlin where she is developing an "artificial institution" whose mission is to service the needs of her "new neighbors": political refugees fleeing military and economic conflict in Syria, Iraq and Northern Africa. The broader issue that both of these politically engaged, artistic endeavors confronts is how we might redirect resources, as well as invent new models, for rethinking the notion of a shared commons operating in opposition to the predacious appetite of neoliberal enterprise culture. This larger agenda seems especially urgent today as we witness an ever-tightening intersection between contemporary art, global capital, and the growing multitude of migratory, precarious, and paperless laborers who are simultaneously tasked with building the fabulous architectural fantasies serving the world's .01% ultra-rich, while also demonized as a dangerous social surplus dragging down limited economic resources. People at risk, including refugees, low-income workers, indebted students, marginalized people of color and women, as well as most artists, and even perhaps an entire nation in the case of Greece, increasingly wield a dark transformative agency with nothing to lose except their precariousness.

Presented by the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society, Critical Inquiry, Art History, DOVA, and Art and Public Life

Gregory Sholette is an artist and writer whose publications include It’s The Political Economy, Stupid co-edited with Oliver Ressler, Dark Matter: Art and Politics in an Age of Enterprise Culture, both Pluto Press UK, as well as Collectivism After Modernism with Blake Stimson University of Minnesota Press, and The Interventionists with Nato Thompson distributed by MIT. His recent art projects include Collectibles, Action Figures and Objects, at Station Independent Gallery, Imaginary Archive: Graz, Rotor Art Center, Graz, Austria; NY; Exposed Pipe at the American University Beirut art gallery; Torrent for Printed Matter Books in Chelsea; iDrone for cyberartspace.net; and Fifteen Islands for Robert Moses at the Queens Museum. Sholette is an Associate of the Art, Design and the Public Domain program at the Graduate School of Design Harvard University, a member of the Curriculum Committee of Home WorkSpace Beirut, and a faculty member of the Queens College Art Department, City University of New York where he helped establish the new MFA Concentration SPQ (Social Practice Queens): http://www.socialpracticequeens.org/