Curatorial Hospitality: Lisa Baldissera, Bojana Videkanić and Living Within the Play in conversation

Thursday, March 18, 5:30 p.m.
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How might we ponder curatorial hospitality? How do we begin to flesh it out? Join us to hear about three very different approaches to these urgent questions. This panel brings together curator Lisa Baldissera, art historian Bojana Videkanić, and the participants of the project/platform Living Within the Play (Kelly Lloyd, Kelly Kaczynski, Mark Jeffery, and Shannon R. Stratton), whose texts are featured in the current issue of the journal PUBLIC: Art | Culture | Ideas. Edited by curator/critic Sylvie Fortin, this publication examines the currencies of hospitality.

Lisa Baldissera’s "Weepers" appropriates the short story form and the biographical voice to gather a cast of characters entwined in diverse planetary networks of belonging. The story gives primacy of place to the entanglements between humans and more-than-humans (animals, the dead, ghosts). It foregrounds the violence of neoliberal social reproduction and the hostility that always tinges hospitality (a sibling rivalry of sorts) as it enacts practices of care, sharing, learning, and curating. It also elaborates instances of refusal, strategies of resistance, and forms of somatized negation, fleshing them out in the languages of the body.

In the summer of 2019, Mark Jeffery, Kelly Kaczynski, Kelly Lloyd, and Shannon Stratton invited several people to the Poor Farm—an artist-run entity whose name archives its former use—to “live within the play” in order to produce a “sprawling keyholder agreement” that would endlessly make space for others. Their protean project for PUBLIC welcomes us into this process by weaving together presentation, poetry, story, photo essay, slide lecture, journal, and list. For hospitality is, among other things, a question of form, a question that matters in the infinitely varied a/symmetries of invitations, spaces, and protocols. Thus, to “think and live through the form” is to attend to the thickness and textures, as well as the pleasures and pains, of hospitality.

Owing much to Yugoslavia’s political theory of self-management and the solidarities born of the Non-Aligned Movement, the Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts (started in 1955) is one of several international exhibitions that emerged from the ruins of the Second World War and the rising de/colonial articulation of alternative modernities. Art historian Bojana Videkanić enlists curatorial hospitality to reassess the Biennial’s commitment to excellence as well as its forms of sociality and the inclusivity it enacted through collaborative, pragmatic, and strategic curating.

This panel is the third event in a month-long discursive program celebrating the release of PUBLIC: Art | Culture | Ideas 61. This program activates the publication into a relay, transforming it into a platform for attentive engagement, open debate, and speculation around questions of hospitality.

Cover: Excerpts from "Living Within the Play" published in PUBLIC 61.

This panel discussion is presented by PUBLIC: Art, Culture, Ideas in collaboration with Griffin Art Projects, the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Waterloo, and the Departments of Fiber and Material Studies, Sculpture, and Performance of School of the Chicago Art Institute as well as SAIC Alumni.

PUBLIC acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.