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Sat, Nov 18, 2017 10:00am –

SVA Theatre
333 West 23rd Street
New York, NY 10011


MA Curatorial Practice at the School of Visual Arts

International Summit on Curatorial Activism and the Politics of Shock

On November 18, 2017, the Curatorial Practice master’s program at the School of Visual Arts presents a day-long international summit organized by Steven Henry Madoff on curatorial activism in light of the rise of nationalism and radical conservatism, and their programmatic attacks on civil rights, environmental protections, scientific research, and free speech, as well as the reduction and rescinding of cultural funds to suppress diverse expression. How must we think about the programs and publics of institutions, both locally and globally, under these political conditions? How can institutions define, present, and perform an ethics or, more pointedly, a polemics in reaction? And if they seek to be polemical, how can they do this within the strictures of governments and commercial powers? In fact, the question must be asked: What is their autonomy and what is their complicity? What can curators within institutions and outside of them do in response to the radical shift now altering our possibilities as individuals, citizens, artists, thinkers, and producers of a (once) liberal culture? And therefore, what is to be done in terms of resistance, sanctuary, and counter-forms of advocacy in the specific political and cultural situations that we work and live in as the 21st century unfolds in ways echoing fascisms of nearly a century ago, hatreds hundreds of years old, and technologies still advancing toward mechanisms of massive fraud and new formations of surveillance?