The Asociación de Arte Útil calls for the reverse of The University of Manchester’s decision to remove Alistair Hudson from his position as Director of The Whitworth. As an organisation that seeks to advance the principle of art to foster social change, we stand behind Hudson’s and the museum staff’s decision to welcome the statement of support to the Palestinian liberation struggle that Forensic Architecture added to their exhibition ‘Cloud Studies’ in the summer of 2021, and we condemn The University of Manchester’s capitulation to pressure from pro-Israeli government lobbying groups demanding disciplinary action against Hudson.
Hudson and the museum staff have been bringing together art, discourse, public engagement and civic action in innovative ways. Hudson’s career, which includes past directorships at Grizedale Arts and Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, speaks for itself, and has been praised by peers and audiences alike. As he once put it, “I propose the institution as a testing ground for new cultural methodologies, responding to the specific urgencies of its context and positioning itself away from the uniform, globalised narratives of art history. This repurposing of the institution is carried out under the rubric and provocations of Arte Útil, offering a working, real-time model that applies the emerging principles of the decolonised and the post-artistic.”
The University of Manchester’s intention sets a worrisome precedent for freedom of expression, and thus we join the other declarations in solidarity with Hudson that have been put forward around the UK and elsewhere in Europe. Museums, universities and, more broadly, institutions operating in the cultural field are spaces for debate and dialogue about the questions of our times, and while this does not often come without friction, it is imperative that it still takes place in the name of freedom of expression – whether artistic, academic or other – so that all voices can be heard.
It is appalling that The University of Manchester is proposing to halt the continuation of Hudson’s work at The Whitworth. This would not only prevent the communities of Manchester and beyond to benefit from the museum’s useful practice, but would also be a massive loss for the entire cultural sector.
Nihil Pulchrum Nisi Utile [nothing beautiful unless useful]
Nick Aikens, Curator, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven
Miguel Amado, Director, Sirius Arts Arts Centre, Cobh, County Cork, Ireland
Tania Bruguera, Artist and activist, Director of Arte Útil Project, Harvard University
John Byrne, Reader in the Uses of Art, Liverpool John Moores University
Sebastian Cichocki, Chief curator, Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw
Charles Esche, Director, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven
Annie Fletcher, Director, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin
Owen Griffiths, Artist and Founder & Director, Ways of Working, Wales
Jo Marsh, Artist and Creative Director, Tŷ Pawb, Wrexham, Wales
Gemma Medina, Art historian and researcher, Eindhoven
Meriç Öner, Researcher and exhibition maker, Istanbul
November Paynter, Curator, Toronto
Lucía Sanromán, Curator, Mexico City
Alessandra Saviotti, Art educator and researcher, Liverpool John Moores University
Alec Steadman, Curator and organiser, Struggles for Sovereignty, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Kuba Szreder, Lecturer and curator, Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw
Stephen Wright, Professor, European School of Visual Art, France
Onur Yildiz, Researcher, Ankara
Peter Zuiderwijk, Designer, Den Haag.
I am honored to be invited togehter with Gemma Medina for the second seminar of "Cultures d'Avenir - Students in France, Spain and Germany design a curriculum for the future" hosted by the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, where we will talk about our work as members of the Asociación de Arte Útil.
The project is a collaboration between Centre Pompidou (Paris), Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW - Berlin) and Centre de Cutlura Contemporània de Barcelona, initiated by the FGYO.
IT - Durante gli ultimi mesi del 2021 ho tradotto in Italiano la guida 'Hologram - A Starter Kit For Postcapitalist Futures'.
La pubblicazione in 10 lingue spiega passo dopo passo come organizzare il triangolo per attivare il primo Ologramma.
La guida è scaricabile sul sito the Hologram qui
ENG - Over second part of 2021 I've helped with the Italian translation of 'Hologram - A Starter Kit For Postcapitalist Futures'.
The publication is a step by step manual in 10 languages to help you and your triangle set up your first Hologram meeting
It is available on the Hologram's website here
On April 27th and 28th I took part in the Voices of Culture's brainstorming meetings on the "Status & Working Conditions for Artists, Cultural and Creative Professionals" on behalf of Art Workers Italia (AWI). The result was a Report which includes 5 Chapters on: 1) Legal Status, Recognition, Social Security of Artists, Cultural and Creative Workers; 2) Fair pay, Collective Bargaining, Intellectual Property, Flattening Income Variation and Financial Support; 3) Research, Lifelong Learning, Representation, Entrepreneurship; 4) Mobility; 5) Artistic Freedom & Freedom of Expression, Diversity and Inclusion, Threats to Artistic Freedom, Measures and Regulations. The Report is available here, it was presented to the European Commission in a Dialogue Meeting on June the 29th, 2021 and it comprehends recommendations to policy officers.
Voices Of Culture is the structured dialogue between the cultural sector in the European Union and the European Commission. It provides a platform for civil society representatives of the cultural sector to give input to the European Commission on a range of topics.
I am honored to be among the mentors for the 2021 UNIDEE residency programme - Groundwork for Embedded Arts Practice curated by Andy Abbott.
The focus of this edition is on alternative structures, frameworks, ecologies and organisational forms of socially engaged art projects and the 'groundwork' required to build and sustain them.
I've invited artist Owen Griffiths as we have been in conversation for long time as part of dpe.tools, for it we'll propose a couple of exercises to the residents which explore how to be together and apart through an embodied practice.
The other mentors are: Professor Katherine Gibson; artist Jeanne van Heeswijk; community economies platform The Interdependence (artists Kathrin Böhm, Kate Rich, Bianca Elzembauer) with researcher and curator Aria Spinelli; Decentralising Political Economies (presented by researcher/curator Alessandra Saviotti and artist Owen Griffiths); artist, academic and curator of the feminist DIY virtual collective Ladyz in Noyz Marlo De Lara; nomadic postcapitalist think-tank Institute of Radical Imagination (represented by artists and academics Massimiliano Mollona, Marco Baravalle and Emanuele Braga), collective Cráter Invertido , Wharf Chambers Co-operative Club– a worker’s co-op run cultural venue in Leeds; Pyramid, a collective of around 150 artists with and without learning disabilities and artist-facilitator, museum professional and academic Jade French; and artist, activist, and author of Art as Social Action and Dark Matter Gregory Sholette.
More info at the UNIDEE website here
Ho avuto il piacere di scrivere l'ultimo pezzo del 2020 per il terzo numero di Interstizi, una newsletter che nasce come piattaforma per la condivisione di pensieri e scritti su arte, attualità e pop culture, curata da Fabiola Fiocco e Giulia Pistone.
Essendo già in clima festivo, ma in preda alla malinconia, ho scritto di Comfort Food, ricordi ed emoji.
Lo trovate qui.
Se vi piace, iscrivetevi alla newsletter, English version coming soon!
I was invited as a mentor for the UNIDEE Residency Program 'Embedded Practice in a Post Pandemic Future' curated by Andy Abbott at the Fondazione Pistoletto. The residence started in September and between October and November it was moved fully online due to Covid-19 restrictions. It was a challenging nevertheless great experience.
Invited guests mentors included architect and researcher Sandi Hilal, curator and art historian Gemma Medina, curator and organizer-as-artist Eva Rowson, professor of art Mick Wilson, researchers Nadia Moreno Moya and Fernando Escobar Neira, independent researcher and curator Aria Spinelli, In-Situ represented by Paul Hartley and Rauf Bashir, and South Square Centre represented by Yvonne Carmichael and Alice Withers. Guests were Visible project, Jasmeen Patheja, and STEALTH.unlimited, Paul O'Neill, and Claudia Zeiske.
The archive of the residents' projects is at this link
Nel maggio 2020 ha partecipato insieme ad altre 40 colleghe artisti, curatrici ed esperte di diritto amministrativo, al gruppo di lavoro orizzontale sulla redifinizione dei campi della ricerca e della produzione artistica e degli strumenti per sostenerle. Il tavolo virtuale si è occupato di pensare ad alcune strategie e proposte per la trasformazione dell'Italian Council in un programma di sostegno continuativo alle arti contemporanee in Italia.
Il report finale, redatto dai coordinatori del gruppo di lavoro è disponibile sul sito del Forum.
Il 27 maggio 2020, nel bel mezzo della fase 3 della pandemia di Covid-19 sono stata invitata da Alberto Gianfreda, artista e docente di scultura all'Accademia di Brera (Milano) il quale durante i mesi di isolamento ha aperto la sua aula virtuale a colleghe di altre scuole e accademie internazionali per raccontare le diverse esperienze di didattica virtuale.
Fresca dell'esperienza al Forum dell'Arte Contemporanea Italiana ho proposto agli studenti lo stesso esercizio attivato da Bruno Latour durante i mesi di stop forzato:
Che cosa vorreste che non riprendesse passata la pandemia?
Le risposte delle studentesse sono state inaspettatamente per un cambiamento radicale: in primis, il desiderio di passare meno tempo in accademia e più tempo vicino agli affetti.
Alberto ha scritto alcune riflessioni in merito su ESPOARTE
**Activists never stop**
I have been working with an amazing team of young women, Jessica Schepis Martinez, Sofie Farkas and Sofia Weiss Goitiandia to develop a campaign to Free the Vaccine for Covid-19 as part of a global advocacy innovation lab developed by The Center for Artistic Activism and Universities Allied for Essential Medicines.
We came up with an audio card with a targeted message to be sent to gatekeepers.
Would you like to do create your audio card? Have a look at the toolkit here