SOUTH SOUTH THINK TANK
Curated by The Showroom, London
Convened by Director Elvira Dyangani Ose
24-28 February 2021
What does it mean to nurture a particular arts ecology? What does it take, from the inception of an idea – and its resolution in terms of a form or an experience – to its encounter with audiences and critics? What is at stake for artists, the artistic community, and members of the audience, both neophytes and aficionados alike?
In recent years, institutions have attempted to comply with neoliberal financial models of sustainability through strategies more creative than ever: distributing untested ideas and discourses; implementing numerous educational programmes claiming radical pedagogies and researches; testing idiosyncrasies through unexplored collaborative endeavours; decolonising structures and programming; supporting the production of small or large-scale commissions of emergent artists; and stimulating the proliferation of other roles, tasks, and methodologies within the labouring structure in the arts to avoid exhaustion or failure.
Such degree of inventiveness has at its core the need to address context more specifically, whilst offering a degree of relevance ensuring agency for international circulation and interest-holding. How do economic imperative, artistic production and distribution, and an ethical, cultural engagement all intertwine?
This first edition of the SOUTH SOUTH Think Tank explored strategies and methodologies that various cultural agents around the globe – particularly in its South, or counter- cultural platforms in its North – are considering to strike a balance that is sustainable to their local environments, as well of interest globally. Participants brought expertise through the transdisciplinary aspects of their practices that transcend any specific frameworks.
The purpose of this Think Tank was not necessarily to produce alternative focuses or centres to current dominants in the art world as seen from the South. Instead, it sought to offer a look through the myriad of connections and rhizomatic possibilities conceded to such Southerness, as a conceptual paradigm and as the catalyst for a critical and honest engagement to some of the most pressing questions in the field
Think Tank: Institutional Hybridity
About SOUTH SOUTH
SOUTH SOUTH is an online community, an archive, an anthology and a resource for artists, galleries, curators and collectors invested in the Global South. The platform’s launch brings together over 50 galleries from across five continents to present a more holistic world-view of contemporary art. The platform will create a repository and a space for new, shared value systems centred on community, collaboration and exchange. SOUTH SOUTH will offer a central portal to experience the programmes and artist profiles of galleries within and dedicated to the Global South. It will host year-round events and seeks, during these tumultuous times, to address an imbalance in the art world framework by providing a means to explore alternative art centres within a broader geopolitical context. SOUTH SOUTH will create space to magnify urgent conversations globally, foregrounded in these past turbulent months – including; the persisting need for decolonisation, restitution and connected sociopolitical concerns emerging out of recent manifestations of the racial justice movement. This discourse has been compellingly tackled by artists from the Global South for decades.
Platform: SOUTH SOUTH
SOUTH SOUTH’s launch event, SOUTH SOUTH VEZA, launched on 24 February 2021 featuring a dedicated talks programme curated by The Showroom. The Institutional Hybridity Think Tank explored counter-cultural strategies and methodologies that various cultural agents around the globe – particularly in its South, or counter- cultural platforms in its North – are considering to strike a balance that is sustainable to their local environments, as well of interest globally.
Event: SOUTH SOUTH VEZA
Institutional Hybridity is curated by The Showroom, London with support by The Showroom Curator Katherine Finerty, and SOUTH SOUTH content managers Christa Dee and Lara Koseff.