Both yesterday and today I had the opportunity to sit with a couple artists to brainstorm and consider issues important to their projects. On both occasions I was a little stressed because I was taking time out of otherwise busy days to talk without a stated goal. That will always be the case, I guess. Yet, looking back, these were the most interesting and fulfilling parts of the days.
Yesterday, I introduced Vladimir Čajkovac to Anthony Viti. Vladimir is the Residency Unlimited / Visual AIDS artist-in-residence researching ‘AIDS as a global media event‘. During his month long residency co-sponsored by Visual Aids and RU, Čajkovac will use this opportunity to witness and (re)-visit the places where some pivotal events in the AIDS and aids activism history occurred here in New York, and to research how AIDS is still present in the language of the street. Anthony was a member of Gran Fury, so this fit well with Vladimir’s research.
Today I met with a couple filmmakers from the Middle East who were debating whether or not to list the Greenhouse Development Program for Documentary Filmmakers in their film’s credits due to its relation to Israel. I shared with them some things I’d recently learned about the BDS Movement and a strategy of Israel state funding to LGBT film festivals known as pinkwashing.
While fluid and organic (unplanned even) these conversations help me to advance my thoughts on how to provide adequate portfolio reviews for socially engaged art.
* Right after writing the above, and over the course of a couple weeks in March, I met both Pelin Tan and Ahmet Ögüt in New York City. Tan is curating and producing an initiative on student debt with Ögüt that will engage other artists and play out over the remainder of 2013 in NYC. First step was to introduce them to a couple lawyers who could help them draw up a contract for the sale of works, a contract that commits any proceeds to go toward paying off student debt generally.