I am seeking submissions for a new project, Non-Participation.
The project, Non-Participation, will be a collection of letters by artists, curators, and other cultural producers, written to decline their participation in events, or with organizations and institutions which they either find suspect or whose actions run counter to their stated missions. These statements are in effect protests against common hypocrisies among cultural organizations, and pose a positive alternative to an equally ubiquitous pressure to perform. At the heart of the project is the notion that what we say “no” to is perhaps more important than what we agree to.
Historic instances and examples include: Adrian Piper’s letter announcing her withdrawal from the show Reconsidering the Object of Art: 1965-1975 at LA MoCA, stating her opposition to Phillip Morris’ funding of the museum and requesting that her criticizing statement be publicly shown; A letter from Jo Baer to a Whitney Museum curator canceling an upcoming exhibition on the grounds that her work was not being taken seriously because she is a woman artist; Marcel Broodthaers open letter to Joseph Beuys questioning the relationship between artists and exhibiting institutions; and, just recently, critic Dave Hickey‘s public announcement of his “quitting” the art world.
I am now collecting your letters of non-participation, which will be compiled as a publication, with other activities surrounding the project to be determined.
Please send copies of your letters via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
With your submission, please indicate whether or not you wish to remain anonymous. All names and contact information can be omitted or made public, depending on your preference.
Also, feel free to include any other details or background information which could illuminate the situation, as you see fit.
The deadline for submissions is December 31.
In terms of my own work, this project is a natural extension of my last exhibition, “Canceled: Alternative Manifestations & Productive Failures.”
The idea for “Non-Participation” came up many times over the course of the exhibition, and now I would like to see it come into being. Please feel free to pass this along to anyone else you think may be interested.
And of course, let me know if you have any questions, thoughts or suggestions.
Thank you in advance!
All my best,