October 5, 2018

2018–2020 Vera List Center Fellows Dean Erdmann and Helene Kazan

Vera List Center for Art and Politics

Courtesy Vera List Center.

The Vera List Center for Art and Politics is pleased to announce the appointment of visual artist Dean Erdmann and artist, curator and writer Helene Kazan as 2018–2020 Vera List Center Fellows. They were selected from an international pool of over 220 applicants from 35 countries by an ad hoc fellowship committee of former fellows, New School faculty, and Vera List Center staff.

On Friday, October 5, at 6:30pm, as part of the center’s Vera List Center Forum 2018 Dean Erdmann and Helene Kazan will present on their distinct practices, in a first encounter with Vera List Center audiences as they embark on developing their fellowship projects. They will be joined in this conversation by Carin Kuoni, VLC director and chief curator.

The Vera List Center Fellowships support individuals whose work advances the discourse on art and politics. They offer the opportunity to develop a fellowship project in relation to the center’s focus theme, and provide a financial stipend, research support by The School faculty and student assistants, short-term residencies in New York City, and a production budget for the project’s public presentation. Framed by the curatorial focus theme for 2018–2020, If Art Is Politics, the Vera List Center investigates some of the following provocations: if art is politics, how is it politically viable and how does it acquire political agency? How does it shift or affect the sites, practices and participants of political processes in ways that traditional forms of political involvement might not? If art is politics, how are the institutions of art implicated in such a new political order? Erdmann and Kazan are developing exemplary projects to engage with this provocation that consider art as a social site where poetics have the potential to transform political subjectivities.

Dean Erdmann
During their fellowship at the Vera List Center, and in collaboration with the New School community, DeanErdmann will create a semi-autobiographical, environmental installation on the subject of American illiberalism. Weaving together film, sculpture, photography, and text, they will consider how our historical pasts have produced our current moment of social and political crisis. The fellowship project will draw global links between America, Germany, and Japan, as well as the comparatively cheap thrills of motorcycling and the high price of stimulant use, to tie together the working class and poor, legacies of war, and the subcultural thrill of speed.

Helene Kazan
During her fellowship at the Vera List Center, Helene Kazan will explore an intersection of international law and the revolutionary potential of the poetic testimony of violence, in the production of international legal justice. Building on the model of interdisciplinary practice that she established in the exhibition and public program Points of Contact in Lebanon, in collaboration with the wider community of The New School, Kazan will create a multi-media and interdisciplinary platform through an exhibition and public program to explore and answer complex questions on the legal agency of poetic testimony of violence, towards a further reparative process of international legal justice. In doing so, Kazan will raise questions central to the roles played by the curator, artist, exhibition space, or cultural institution, in regard to the register of slow, structural and spectacular modes of enacting violence.

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