Object Positions is an 18-month project initiated by curatorial fellow Teresa Cisneros in early 2017, the project explores the legacies of colonialism through platforming academic and artistic practices, which interrogate ideas of cultural equity, decolonial processes and colonial administration.
As part of the project Cisneros programmes the monthly Public Lecture series with professionals whose practices resonate with Object Positions. The series has featured Nana Adusei-Poku, Dr. Karen Salt, Denise Ferreira da Silva, Dr. Melissa Blanco Borelli, niv Acosta, and Elizabeth Povenelli. These lectures act as conduits for further exploration with the Holding Space artistic programme.
Alongside these two visible aspects of Object Positions, Cisneros also carves out a more informal space of gathering, which she calls Intimate Conversations. On a monthly basis she invites artists, academics, administrators, and students to come together over a meal to discuss how ‘institution’ affects their practice both on a professional and personal level. This space acts as both a site of support and networking.
Cisneros curatorial fellowship has been made possible by a grant from the Arts Council of England Changemakers grant which is part of the Creative Case for Diversity. As part of the Changemakers grant Cisneros will work with The Showroom to explore institutional practices and behaviours to develop a Policy of Care. The Policy of Care considers how intersectional thinking and practices can potentially create more equitable sites of practice.
Holding Space was a central programme of the Object Positions project. It was a year-long programme of support and commissions for 8 UK based artists. These artists were selected through an open call process in early 2017.
The artists on the programme were Onyeka Igwe, Jade Montserrat, Ima-Abasi Okon, Raju Rage, Adam Saad, Jamila Johnson-Small, Daniela Valz Gen, and Alberta Whittle.
Artists were supported through mentoring, artistic / academic workshops and monthly meet-up sessions for discussion and sharing. A key component of Holding Space is a collectively researched and curated exhibition to be determined for Spring 2018.
Holding Space was a curatorial format, which Cisneros is exploring to think through the role of the curator within or on the side of the institution and the link between the artist and the institution. A key questions to Holding Space is ‘how do we become responsible to one another in creative settings and how does the institution feature in this’.