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Blurring the lines between art and life in Cambridge, Boston

— February 2014

Associated media

John Hulsey, documentation image, Letters to Bank of America, 2012-13

‘Living As Form (The Nomadic Version)’ at The Carpenter Center For The Visual Arts, Cambridge, Boston

An exhibition of 20 years of cultural works that blur the forms of art and everyday life, emphasizing participation, dialogue and community engagement, with new works by local artists

The Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts (CCVA) together with Creative Time and Independent Curators International (ICI) is presenting  ‘Living as Form (The Nomadic Version)’ at the Carpenter Center in the Main and Sert Galleries until April 6, 2014.

The exhibition surveys works from around the world that document the rise of artistic practices that blur the lines between art and everyday life, in projects emphasizing political concerns, participation, and forms of communication. The exhibition features two groups of works: nine recent works by emerging artists with strong ties to the Boston area and Providence, Rhode Island, selected by the Carpenter Center, and 23 internationally recognized projects dating from 1991 to 2011 by artists such as Chto delat?, Suzanne Lacy, the Los Angeles Poverty Department, Women on Waves, and Ai Weiwei, travelling through 2014 courtesy of ICI.

The nine works by local artists include Caitlin Berrigan’s Lessons in Capitalism (2014), which reappraises naturalized economic systems by enlisting children as financial advisers. Chris Csikszentmihályi’s Freedom Flies 02 (2014) retools robotic technology to raise pressing questions about military drone applications. In Public Kitchen and Street Lab, theDesign Studio for Social Intervention experiments with game-based, participatory responses to contemporary urban conditions in greater Boston.

A sculptural timeline by the artists of the Dirt Palace brings together 15 years of feminist collective work at the core of the Providence underground art scene since 2000. A 2012–13 video installation by John Hulsey considers the economic structures and psychic costs of the mortgage foreclosure crisis through a series of intimate outdoor projections made in collaboration with members of City Life/Vida Urbana, a Boston-based grassroots homeowners’ and tenants’ association.

Tomashi Jackson’s site-specific drawings-on-glass examine invisible labour by combining transparency, mark-making, figuration, and erasure. Providence’s robust ’zine and comics culture crystalizes in the whimsical monthly newspaper Mothers News, a project by artist Jacob Berendes, and in the Providence Comics Consortium’s vibrant literacy campaign led by artist Walker Mettling. Finally, Networks (2010–present) by Maria Molteni and New Craft Artists in Action (NCAA) uses techniques of hand-making to install basketball nets in public courts that lack them, encouraging pickup games and dialogues across race, class, and gender.

‘Living as Form (The Nomadic Version)’will be accompanied by a series of public programmes and events, including a Carpenter Center Lecture by Nato Thompson on 27 March 2014.

Living as Form (The Nomadic Version) is co-organized by Creative Time and Independent Curators International (ICI), and assembled in collaboration with Claire Grace, guest curator for the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts.

Exhibition Programming (updated)

Thursday, 20 February  6.30 p.m.
Artist Talk: Doug Ashford

Thursday, 27 February 6.00 p.m.
Free Screening of Peter Watkins' LA COMMUNE (PARIS, 1871)

Tuesday, 11 March 6.30-8.30 p.m.
Tuesday, 25 March 6.30-8.30 p.m.

Hoops Workshops with New Craft Artists in Action (NCAA)
New Craft Artists in Action ‘Net Works’ // Workshop: Learn To Craft Hand Made Basketball Nets for Empty Hoops in your Neighborhood

Thursday, 27 March, 6.00 p.m.
Carpenter Center Lecture: An Evening with Nato Thompson

Friday, 28 March 7.00 p.m.
BYO, Voices of the Contemporary: "Performing Feminisms"
with A.L. Steiner, Emma Hedditch, and the Dirt Palace
Sponsored by the Harvard College Women's Center; Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; and the Provostial Fund Committee for the Arts and Humanities at Harvard University.

Saturday, 29 March 2.00-4.00 p.m.
Hoops Workshops with New Craft Artists in Action (NCAA)
New Craft and Ponytail Theory: Coaches Corner with Maria Molteni of NCAA ‘Net Works’ and special guest Hazel Meyer of ‘Walls to the Ball’

Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts
Harvard University
24 Quincy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

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