We are writing to you on the occasion of our end of the year exhibition at Art in General for the Whitney Independent Study Program–a specific place, a specific context.  We are writing to communicate to you that if you choose to join us at the exhibition you are producing a situation together with us and with our bodies.

If we think of the exhibition as a site of radical experimentation, a site where we can begin to imagine how things can be otherwise, then certainly this experimentation begins within us.  It's a way of being in the world, and this is always political.  If we wish to struggle against heteronormativity, racism and capitalism, we should start within ourselves to dismantle all the ways in which we embody dominance and exclusion.         

We ask you to consider with us other possibilities, to take the opening of the exhibition literally as an ongoing and complex opening of potentialities: to bring creativity into play for what really matters in life.  If the work we admire in film, dance, noise, painting and poetry demands that life can be different, let us together embody that demand.  We have chosen to be together to ask these questions, to take this time and slow it down.  We have done this in order to rearticulate the form we give to our participation in the exhibition–taking into consideration the expectations about this time and this space.     

Each of us brings our own subjectivities to the situations that we are involved in.  We want to make evident the generative conflicts, alternative positions, and opposing views within ourselves.  In this collaboration we experience tension and conflict around questions of class, gender and power relations.  These are the fields in which we continually struggle for solidarity, trust and care.    

Through intimacy and the building of our relations together let us resist the ways in which society imposes its categorization, its specialization and separation.  Let’s forget about those who tell us that the market is our audience–lets not defend the market, lets not critique the market, lets not spend our time there.  Dominant culture is not present everywhere, nor is it evenly distributed: everywhere it is not, we are. This uneven distribution is the set of relations to be negotiated–there will be no passive spectators nor will there be artists; let us be together in ways that we cannot yet know. 

This moment contains everything we need. 

We ask you to help us refuse to fulfil expectations. 


May 8, 2009

David Baumflek, Emma Hedditch, Ilya Lipkin, Mattin