TALK Series: Gregory Sholette
Second TALK series guest of 2022 is Dr. Gregory Sholette, artist, writer, activist and teacher. His lecture is based on a new publication expected this year titled The Art of Activism and the Activism of Art (New Directions in Contemporary Art).
The event takes place in English.
Free entry. Registration HERE
Since the global financial crash of 2008, and following the sharp rightward swing of the US and UK 2016 elections, artists have become increasingly engaged in a wide range of cultural activism targeting capitalism, authoritarianism, colonial legacies, gentrification, but also in opposition to their own exploitation. Absorbing and reflecting political forms of dissent into their art practice, contemporary art activists inaugurate a broader cultural paradigm shift signaling our collective entry into the unpresent, an uncanny juncture in which distinctions between aesthetics and protest, autonomy and engagement, have been inverted if not erased. Sholette approaches his subject from the dual perspective of scholar and insider, describing and theorizing a new wave of activist art emerging not only within community-based protest groups, as it has for decades, but also amongst professionally trained art practitioners, many of whom, by choice or by circumstance, refuse to respect the conventional borders separating painting from protest, or art from utility.
Gregory Sholette is a New York-based artist, writer, activist and teacher. Sholette received his PhD from the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands in 2017, and is a graduate of the Whitney Independent Study Program in Critical Theory (1996); UC San Diego Visual Art Program (MFA: 1995); The Cooper Union (BFA: 1979); and Bucks County Community College (AA: 1974). Publications include: Delirium and Resistance: Activist Art and the Crisis of Capitalism (2017); Dark Matter: Art and Politics in the Age of Enterprise Culture (2011); Art As Social Action (with Chloë Bass: 2018), and The Art of Activism and the Activism of Art (2022). Dr. Sholette is an associate of the Art, Design and the Public Domain program of Harvard University's Graduate School of Design, and along with his colleague Chloë Bass, Sholette co-directs Social Practice CUNY (SPCUNY), a new Mellon Foundation funded art and social justice initiative linking several MFA programs across CUNY and located in the Center for Humanities, at the Graduate Center, City University of New York.
TALK Series is a visitors program initiated by the Reykjavik Art Museum, the Icelandic Art Center and the Iceland University of the Arts. Since 2012, a selection of highly regarded international artists, curators and critics have participated. Guests include Heike Munder, Miwon Kwon, Claire Bishop, Nicolaus Schafhausen, Mary Jane Jacob and Dieter Daniels, Douglas Gordon and more.
The program brings the flourishing ideas and diverse practices within the international contemporary art scene to the Icelandic art community and the public at large. Each guest is asked to offer an insight into the field through a public lecture at the Reykjavik Art Museum, studio visits and a seminar lecture at the Department of Fine Art as well as an introduction to the Icelandic art scene through visits to practicing artists studios and the gallery and museum scene. The overall aim of the program is to support a stronger link between local aspects and broader perspectives of contemporary art. By joining the resources of three major local art institutions the wish is to convey current topics of art to both younger and established artists, art students and the general public alike. Supported by the American Embassy in Iceland.