October 21, 2017

International Biennial Vera List Center Prize for Art and Politics Conference 2016–18

Vera List Center for Art and Politics

Ben Thomas, Arnolfini, 2016.

The Vera List Center Prize Conference 2016-18 marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Vera List Center in 1992. The conference looks at the urgent and necessary work of Brazilian artist, Maria Thereza Alves the third recipient of the Vera List Center Prize for Art and Politics as well as that of the five Prize finalists: Forensic Architecture, Gulf Labor, House of Natural Fibers (HONF), IsumaTV and MadeYouLook.

The conference
On November 3 and 4 the conference surveys the field of art and social justice by mining the exemplary projects of the Prize recipient and finalists. These projects were nominated in 2016 for their capacity to make legible urgent issues around the world, and to model ways in which to successfully address them. At the conference each exchange includes writers, thinkers and scholars from the arts, humanities, social and natural sciences, and respondents from The New School community to consider the context, effects and futures of these practices.

Ceremony and keynote conversation
At 6pm on November 3, New School Executive Dean Mary Watson introduces Maria Thereza Alves who will receive the Vera List Center Prize for Art and Politics 2016–18 celebrated with Yoko Ono's sculpture The Third Eye for Seeds of Change. Seeds of Change explores the social, political and cultural history of ballast flora in port cities and reveals patterns, temporalities and instruments of colonialism, commerce and migration over many centuries. The exhibition accompanying the Prize will be the first presentation of Seeds of Change in the Americas.

Following the prize presentation Carin Kuoni, Director and Chief Curator of the Vera List Center, moderates a conversation on the prize-winning project and its repercussions in the current political moment between Maria Thereza Alves and Saidiya Hartman, Professor at Columbia University and author of Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-making in Nineteenth Century America and Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route.

Conference participants include:
Irene Agrivina, Indonesia, House of Natural Fibers / Maria Thereza Alves, artist / Jane Bennett, Professor, Department of Political Sciences, Johns Hopkins University / Doris Bittar, Gulf Labor / Sam Cohn, Canada, IsumaTV / TJ Demos, Professor, History of Art and Visual Culture, University of California Santa Cruz / Seth Denizen, University of California, Berkeley, Department of Geography / Nitasha Dhillon, Gulf Labor / Galit Eilat, independent curator / Saidiya Hartman, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University / J. Kēhaulani Kauanui, Professor of American Studies and Anthropology, Wesleyan University / Lara Khaldi, curator, Palestine / Carin Kuoni, Director and Chief Curator, Vera List Center for Art and Politics / Tomaz Mastnak, Institute of Philosophy, University of Ljubljana / Hannah Meszaros Martin, Colombia, Forensic Architecture / Nare Mokgotho, South Africa, MadeYouLook / Molemo Moiloa, South Africa, MadeYouLook / Amanda Parmer, Curator, Vera List Center for Art and Politics / Marisa Prefer, artist, Gardener, Pioneer Works; Horticultural Advisor, VLC / Greg Sholette, Gulf Labor / Radhika Subramaniam, Assistant Professor, School of Art and Design History and Theory, Parsons / Mary Watson, Executive Dean, Schools for Public Engagement, The New School

Conference program and registration
To register, please click here.
Please check the Vera List Center for Art and Politics website or the Center’s Facebook page for the full program and any updates.

November 3–27, the Prize exhibition Maria Thereza Alves, Seeds of Change: New York—A Botany of Colonization will be on view in the Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, Parsons School of Design, 66 Fifth Avenue.

The Vera List Center Prize for Art and Politics 2016–18
The Vera List Center Prize for Art and Politics 2016–18 exhibition, Maria Thereza Alves, Seeds of Change: New York—A Botany of Colonization, is organized by director and chief curator Carin Kuoni and curator Amanda Parmer, and is made possible by the Prize Founding Supporters: James Keith (J) Brown and Eric Diefenbach, Elizabeth R. Hilpman and Byron Tucker, Jane Lombard, Joshua Mack, and The New School.

Thank you!

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