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RESEARCH CLASS: body. listening. book. library. institution.

body. listening. book. library. institution.
research class by Heide Hinrichs & Vijai Maia Patchineelam

During the research class 'body. listening. book. library. institution.' we will critically look into systems of classification, at aspects of neutrality, and how in many cases the parameters for sorting and selecting, even if invertedly, assist to exclude others in the process. In other words, systems of classification can also be seen as systems of separation. Be it establishing library systems or age categories, however neutral the outset is, whenever classification is applied to these processes, the act of classifying implies the gesture of separation. When these acts of separation as an embodied unaware automatism define our ways of acting and thinking beyond our control, how can artistic practices engage and contribute to the reflection and perhaps lead to reconfiguration of these systems?

From the starting point of wider systems and structures, we will slowly change scales giving in to the individual. Grappling with questions such as equality, diversity, self-instituting, and representation.

The research class is structured as a bridge between two key evening events, as well as two practice led research projects hosted by the Academy: (1) the presentation of the book 'shelf documents: art library as practice' the result of a two-year research project initiated by Hinrichs that addressed themes like diversity and equality in art schools’ libraries; and (2) an assembly organized around equality and discrimination inside the walls of art institutions, as part of Patchineelam’s PhD research 'The Artist Job Description' that focused on artists, who shift their roles in order to negotiate another way of coming in and engaging with art institutions (1*).

As places of practice we will visit in Brussels RoSa, library, and centre of expertise for information on women's issues, gender, and feminism in Flanders, which was started in 1978 out of the need for centralised documentation, and Constant a non-profit, artist-run organization based in Brussels since 1997 and active in the fields of art, media, and technology. Constant departs from feminisms, copyleft, Free/Libre + Open Source Software. Both places started out of the need to counter and to add to dominant documentation and collection practices.

The connecting modus operandi for the week will be forms of collective reading, experimenting with aspects of collectivity but as well as voice and enunciation. Through a collective effort, we look for your contribution to the themes raised, by the layering of individual concerns and hopes.

Throughout the week we will receive contributions from several key collaborators of the two research projects. Such as the artist, curator and writer Jo-ey Tang; historian Elizabeth Haines; artist and writer Laura Larson; artist-researchers Pia Louwerens and Adrijana Gvozdenović; artist and curator Joep Vossebeld; artists Evi Olde Rikkert, Julia Dahee Hong and Felix Rapp.

Participants will be asked to reflect and speculate on what kind of working conditions are necessary for your practices to develop. When the institutions built for the purpose of promoting and supporting art practices come up short, how do we as artists and individuals envision and negotiate for the relevance of art institutions?

(1*) This event is organized for the ARTICULATE Research Days with additional support from (ARIA) Antwerp Research Institute for the Arts and (OJO) Omkadering van Jonge Onderzoekers.

Tuesday 26.10, 19:00 – 20:30
'shelf documents. art library as practice': Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner lecture 
by Elizabeth Haines, Heide Hinrichs, Laura Larson, Jo-ey Tang

Friday 29.10, 15:00 – 18:00
Assembly: Collective reading and open discussion
by Vijai Maia Patchineelam, Julia Dahee Hong, Evi Olde Rikkert, Felix Rapp

(Image: Rope Sculpture)

>> This research class is part of the RESEARCH WEEK October 2021 and ARTICULATE 2021.