Publishing Against the Grain
- February 7 – May 3, 2020
Initiated by Independent Curators International (ICI)’s Alaina Claire Feldman,Becky Nahom, and Sanna Almajedi
With contributions by: Adjective / Art Against Art / Post Capitalism: A Guide to our Future, Telematic Embrace, The Transhumanist Reader / Bisagra / ramona / Chimurenga & Selections from the Chimurenga Library / Curatorial Dictionary / Art-Leaks.org / East of Borneo / Artes Visuales / Exhausted Geographies / SCROLL / Fillip / Art-Language / Glänta / Bidayat / Makhzin / Souffles, Soufless-Anfas / Top Stories / Our Literal Speed / Collective Actions / Pages / Pumflet / Corrections and Clarifications / Counter-Signals / PISEAGRAMA / Urbânia / Raking Leaves / Aar Paar / SALT. / LIES / Start Journal / Uganda Press Photo Award / Stationary / Blackbird / Lenny Kwok / Tráfico Visual / Félix Suaz / White Fungus / Life Is A Rip Off
Produced by Independent Curators International (ICI)
Blue Star Contemporary and Independent Curators International (ICI) are pleased to announce the presentation of Publishing Against the Grain, a unique exhibition that provides visitors with a rare opportunity to engage in a variety of conversations from across the world. In the context of today’s corporatization and commodification of cultural institutions, and in many political situations where free speech becomes ever more precarious, independent publishing has shown extraordinary vitality and importance as a platform for disseminating alternative, progressive and autonomous positions.
Publishing Against the Grain is a traveling exhibition that provides a space for reading, thinking, and conversing, where slowing down can become a form of intellectual resistance. It encourages discursive public participation, self-reflective investigation, and invites visitors to discover new perspectives while connecting differing and analogous spheres of contemporary art.
The exhibition highlights the current state of publishing and art criticism as it exists in small journals, experimental publications, websites, and radio, as well as other innovative forms. It is organized around projects that connect theoretical, social, political, and aesthetic questions with a focus on community, whether understood in relation to a particular place, or defined in identitarian or diasporic terms. Included in the exhibition are print journals like Makhzin (Lebanon) and Pisegrama (Brazil), alongside more experimental forms like tranzit’s interactive Curatorial Dictionary (Hungary).
In bringing these projects together from around the world, Publishing Against the Grain reveals how their material and discursive activities respond to intersecting subjects such as contemporary aesthetics, diaspora, sex and gender, gentrification, race, language, and art history.
A selection of key publications was drawn from ICI’s international network of collaborators. These curators, artists, and scholars involved in independent publishing are represented in the exhibition through their own projects and those of others who have influenced their work and school of thought. The exhibition continues to grow and accumulate as it travels, when new publications are added at every site. Blue Star Contemporary has nominated and will be including Pastelegram and a selection of publications by Molly Sherman to continue onto the international tour. Additionally, visitors will be encouraged to read and reproduce sections of the materials within the gallery space, and collate them to produce their own projects or take them home for continued engagement, allowing for the content of the exhibition to exist and circulate beyond the walls of the gallery.
Publishing Against the Grain is an exhibition organized and produced by Independent Curators International (ICI), New York, and initiated by ICI’s Alaina Claire Feldman and Becky Nahom with Sanna Almajedi. The exhibition was made possible with generous support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, ICI’s Board of Trustees and International Forum. The presentation at Blue Star Contemporary has been organized by Curator and Exhibition Manager Jacqueline Saragoza McGilvray.
Independent Curators International (ICI) produces exhibitions, events, training opportunities, research initiatives, and publications for curators and audiences around the world. Established in 1975, ICI is headquartered in New York, but active around the world. ICI’s programs are presented and often developed in partnership with art spaces across the globe, therefore encouraging new infrastructures for art practice internationally, and inspiring fresh ways of seeing and contextualizing contemporary art.