Introducing the 18/19 Season

Welcome from Rachel Cook

Curators act as catalysts for conversations that are already embedded within a community. I think of curating as multi-dimensional and collaborative. Sometimes your curatorial role is to push the conversation into areas away from the artwork and towards different histories or alternative discourses. As a curator, you are tasked with generating an interconnected-ness between images, objects, and gestures for a community of individuals. 

Lately I’ve been thinking about how curatorial positions can hold power in different ways and how power can be more equitably distributed in order to create platforms for artists and communities. I see my curatorial role as creating context around artists’ work, participating in critical writing and feedback, archival research, mentoring, and advocacy. This type of work is practiced in conversation with the community, working in tandem to collectively examine larger cultural questions in order to inspire a shift in our thinking and understanding of the world. 

In recent years, a growing number of multidisciplinary artists have employed performative strategies in their work to interrogate a variety of relevant social and political topics. Contemporary performance has become a working method, a critical framework, and a strategy, rather than simply a medium or discipline. Additionally, many choreographers, performance and theater-makers working today consider their practice in a very similar vein to visual conceptual artists — performative, collaborative, and multidisciplinary. 

This shift away from performance as medium or discipline comes at the very moment when many artists and curators are embracing and being fully embraced by technology and corporate branding structures. Digital tools are a way to create physical stories. The creative class is no longer a small elite group of individuals and a handful of alternative art spaces. From large-scale fashion houses to DIY design wearable ventures, to music videos, animation, and video games, technological devices have blurred and disrupted the boundaries between pop culture, advertising, and art. We are living through a time in which the distinction between categories in art is not straightforward anymore. 

I am interested in asking a series of questions: How is meaning made? What actions, gestures create meaning? How are artistic movements made? How do artistic gestures inspire meaning in this world? I think about a season as a shift in climate, or a change in the amount of daylight, or the marking of a point in time which the earth is in relationship to the sun. Mostly I think about a season as a collection of artists and ideas presented over the course of a year in a particular setting. This season will take up the idea of Image, Object, & Gesture as a way to think about the blurring and hybrid distinctions being made in contemporary performance today. 


Rachel Cook
Artistic Director


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