SOCIAL EMERGENCY RESPONSE CENTER // PROJECT ROWHOUSES- ROUND 48:
COMMISSIONED BY DESIGN STUDIO FOR SOCIAL INTERVENTION (DS4SI) // CURATED BY RYAN DENNIS
Round 48: Beyond Social Practice takes its title from the Social Practice.Social Justice symposium organized on the occasion of PRH’s 25th anniversary celebrations. Through this ongoing investigation of exploring how social practice is defined, who defines it and what it means for artists, collectives and institutions, Round 48 brings together a group of artists deeply engaged in collaborative practices that speak to social issues related to identity, politics, activism. “Social practice" emerged from academia to encapsulate the scope of community-based and socially engaged practices that artists have utilized for decades. The term, as ascribed to these practices, is synonymous with the proliferation of academic programs that could be seen as troubling in their attempts to capture, pare down and replicate what has come before. As with the symposium, Round 48 looks to the multitude of forms that “social practice” takes in contemporary art, exploring organic efforts that move beyond the name and elevate the spirit of socially engaged art through their actions.
The Design Studio for Social Intervention (DS4SI) w/ Maria Molteni & Tiago Gualberto (Boston, MA) : The Design Studio for Social Intervention will create a “Social Emergency Response Center” envisioned, designed and built by Maria Molteni and Tiago Gualberto with the intention of taking social emergencies that we presently face to help individuals pivot out of despair, rage, and hopelessness into collective, creative, and radical action. The House will be programmed as a space for activists, artists, and Third Ward residents to gather and activate in ways that feel useful and inspiring.
Other Round 48 Artists:
Tatyana Fazlalizadeh (Brooklyn, NY): Fazlalizadeh’s installation “The Personal as Political” creates a space for people to talk candidly about their experiences being black, women, and/or queer. Their personal stories will then be used to create political art that disrupts the common narrative and forces a new perspective on identity and activism.
Armina Mussa (Los Angeles, CA): Mussa’s installation “Out of One’s Skin” uses various mediums such as sculpture, video, duration performance, and performance documentation to allude to the practices of repressive and violent environments.
Tia-Simone Gardner (Houston, TX): Gardner’s “The Black Power Station” is a digital audiobook archive and mobile sound installation that highlights authors of African descent whose works were published before 1923, but have fallen out of print.
Lisa Harris (Houston, TX): Harris’ “House of Practice” is a holistic recreation center that creates a sacred space and a healing environment through the use of cool colors, calming and orderly interiors, mirrors, furniture, literature and a practitioner. The installation offers organic practices, materials, and information as alternatives to overindulgence in pharmaceutical consumption and digital recreation.
Dawn Weleski (Pittsburgh, PA): Weleski’s “Noon at Night” is a pay-what-you-can bakery serving international baked goods, while connecting customers in real-time to other cafés and patrons around the world. “Noon at Night” opens when the sun sets and doesn’t close until sunset the next day, allowing customers in Houston to converse via video conferencing with customers in cafés half a world away where their hour is noon.
jackie sumell (New Orleans, LA): Sumell’s “gRow House” will fill the space with flowers chosen by incarcerated mothers from prisons across the U.S. The installation, which recognizes that 80% of incarcerated women and girls are mothers, invites visitors to plant the seedlings chosen by the women, document their transformation, and share the images with the moms through a prisoner-support app called Flikshop.
The Design Studio for Social Intervention w/ Maria Molteni & Tiago Gualberto (Boston, MA) : The Design Studio for Social Intervention will create a “Social Emergency Response Center” with the intention of taking social emergencies that we presently face to help individuals pivot out of despair, rage, and hopelessness into collective, creative, and radical action. The House will be programmed as a space for activists, artists, and Third Ward residents to gather and activate in ways that feel useful and inspiring.
From healing spaces as a site for a holistic recreation center, to connecting with communities in other countries, the featured work highlights the critical role that artists play in shaping and framing socio-political issues while demonstrating their ties to various social justice movements and strategies.
Round 48 is organized by Ryan N. Dennis, Curator at Programs Director at Project Row Houses.