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Max Wasserman Forum on Contemporary Art: Future Genders
MIT List Visual Arts Center
Above: Shu Lea Cheang, WONDERS WANDER, 2017. Photo: Tamara Arranz.
Above: Shu Lea Cheang, WONDERS WANDER, 2017. Photo: Tamara Arranz.
November 9–10, 2018

MIT List Visual Arts Center
20 Ames Street, Building E15
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

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listart.mit.edu
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Artists and cultural practitioners are at the forefront of critically analyzing and reimagining how we think about, experience, and represent gender. In particular, the political and cultural strategies of trans and genderqueer people, both historically and today, offer vital insights into and pathways for emergent conceptions of gender. The 2018 Wasserman Forum: Future Genders, November 9-10, will address these developments from multiple perspectives by bringing together important voices in the visual arts, architecture, activism, and scholarship.

Schedule of events

Friday, November 9
5pm: Welcome by Paul C. Ha (Director, List Center)
5:30–7pm: Keynote by Mel Y. Chen (UC Berkeley)

Saturday, November 10

10:30am–12pm: Gender in Space: Policies, Pedagogies, and Publics
This panel brings together a range of figures working across the visual and spatial fields to brainstorm, share, and critically reflect on creative strategies for engaging with gender in public space. In an age of trigger warnings and safe spaces, bathroom bills and border walls, Black Lives Matter and #MeToo, panelists will consider the following questions: What are the potential and limitations of art, architecture, and activism in contesting, subverting, and cultivating pedagogies and policies? Working within institutional infrastructures, how can cultural practitioners resist and reform spaces of gender-based violence such as the university and the art museum? Can they enable or even give rise to new publics and subjectivities? What tools do trans, dis/ability, and critical race studies offer for framing these questions in different ways?

Lucas Crawford (University of New Brunswick), zethu Matebeni (University of Cape Town), Carlos Motta (artist, New York)
Moderated by Kian Goh (UCLA)

1:30–3pm: Artistic Genealogies: The Legacies of Trans History
Despite the increasing hyper-visibility of trans people in public culture over the past century, vital histories of trans life have been lost, neglected, obscured, hidden, and erased. At the same time, cultural practitioners, both historically and today, have devised methods to collect, chronicle, and share trans cultural production and other historical residues. For many artists and archivists, exploring the past has been particularly instrumental for visualizing the future. Reflecting on the archive as a site of not only intergenerational memory, but also historical possibility, this panel will center on the following questions: In what meaningful ways have artists, curators, and researchers excavated, sustained, and re-animated these archives? How does trans history open up new understandings of the archive’s role and responsibility? What tensions and discrepancies emerge in the project of institutionalizing such histories?

Shu Lea Cheang (artist, Taipei, and Paris), Wu Tsang (artist, Los Angeles), Chris E. Vargas (artist, Bellingham, WA)
Moderated by Susan Stryker (University of Arizona)

3:30–5pm: Considering Forms: Transgender and Genderqueer Artistic Strategies
Whether through representation or abstraction, art and image-making have been important tools for engaging with and theorizing the multiple articulations of gender. By examining the stakes of visibility and the politics of form as critical concerns for artists, this panel asks: What strategies do cultural practitioners employ to bridge physical and imaginative borders, and how do these strategies complicate presumptions about identification and expression? Beyond its embodiments, how does gender operate as metaphor, as method, as category, or as potential? Moreover, how does art illuminate the manifold intersections of gender with race, sexuality, class, and dis/ability?

Cassils (artist, Los Angeles), Jacolby Satterwhite (artist, New York), Alok Vaid-Menon (artist, New York)
Moderated by David J. Getsy (SAIC)

5–6pm: Reception

Keynote address and panelist discussions will take place at the List Center, Bartos Theatre, Lower Level. Free and open to the public but registration required. Please visit our events and programs page  to register.

About the Max Wasserman Forum
The Max Wasserman Forum on Contemporary Art was established in memory of Max Wasserman (MIT Class of 1935), a founding member of the Council for the Arts at MIT. This public forum was endowed through the generosity of the late Jeanne Wasserman and addresses critical issues in contemporary art and culture through the participation of renowned scholars, artists, and arts professionals. The Forum is organized and presented by the MIT List Visual Arts Center.

October 17, 2018

location

MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge