Join the curators of It's the Political Economy, Stupid, Oliver Ressler and Gregory Sholette, along with Brian Holmes, whose essay "Art After Capitalism" is featured in the exhibition catalogue, and Stephanie Smith, Smart Museum Deputy Director and Chief Curator, for conversation moderated by Gallery 400 Director, Lorelei Stewart, that is open to the public. The discussion focuses not only on our continuing economic crisis and its impact on both artists and other workers both here and abroad, but also addresses the ways students are adjusting themselves to, or preparing to resist, the so-called "new normal" of the "jobless future." Potential other points of conversation include what happens post Occupy? And how might the rising institutional interest in "social practice" art come to alter recent politically engaged culture?
Brian Holmes, PhD, is an art critic, activist, and translator, living in Paris, interested primarily in the intersections of artistic and political practice. Holmes has been the English editor of publications for Docmenta X, Kassel, Germany, since 1997. He was a member of the graphic arts group Ne pas plier from 1999 to 2001, and has worked with the French conceptual art group Bureau d'études. He holds a doctorate in romance languages and literatures from the University of California at Berkeley.
Oliver Ressler is a Vienna-based artist and filmmaker. Ressler’s ongoing project, Alternative Economies, Alternative Societies has been exhibited in São Paulo, Vienna, Berlin, and Eindhoven, among others. His most recent film, Leave It in the Ground (2013), commissioned by the 2013 Lofoten International Art Festival, explores ecological and humanitarian disasters caused by global warming, and their long-term implications in society and politics.
Gregory Sholette is an artist, activist, and author based in New York. He co-founded the artist collectives: Political Art Documentation and Distribution (1980-1988) and REPOhistory (1989-2000). He is the author of Dark Matter: Art and Politics in an Age of Enterprise Culture (Pluto Press, 2010), and co-editor of Collectivism after Modernism: The Art of Social Imagination after 1945 (University of Minnesota Press, 2007). The first episode of his graphic sci-fi novel, Double City, was featured in Frieze (Issue 156, June-August 2013), while the second episode can be seen in Shifter’s “Other Spaces” issue (October, 2013).
Stephanie Smith joined the Smart Museum of Art in 1999, where she is currently Deputy Director and Chief Curator. She also serves as an affiliate member of the University of Chicago’s Department of Visual Arts, a founding member of its Open Practice Committee, and a contributing editor at the international art journal, Afterall. Smith held previous curatorial positions at Rice University, where she earned an MA in art history, and at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston. Smith’s work focuses on socially engaged public practice and on issues of art and sustainability, most notably in the exhibitions and publications Beyond Green: Toward a Sustainable Art (2005), Heartland (2009), and Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art (2012).