Artists: N. Dash, Jesal Kapadia, Deana Lawson, Esperanza Mayobre, JJ PEET, Harriet Salmon, Jaret Vadera
Curated by: Erin Sickler
Prolonged Engagement is an exhibition that brings together artists who create aesthetic conditions rather than discrete art objects. Finding beauty and ingenuity amidst human imperfection, the artists in Prolonged Engagement allow the world to act upon them as they act upon it. As with tinkerers, inventors, and other radical thinkers, they know that the ah-ha moment is not a singular event, but rather one that absorbs information from the outside world, mixes and remixes it, and allows new ideas and processes to gradually fade into view. Driven by productive antagonisms and juxtapositions, they create complex environments for inquisitiveness and transformation that go beyond simplistic notions of failure and success.
As outsourced labor continues to dominate art production and biennials, art fairs, and platforms like Google Art Project expand into as-yet unexploited geographical and virtual territories, the artworld becomes increasingly flat and fractured: design replaces art; the IPad replaces the studio; the medium trumps the message. Curator Erin Sickler asks: In such a fast and mediated reality, how do we establish any lasting criteria for art’s social or aesthetic value? Through an exhibition of diverse artworks not tied to any particular medium, Prolonged Engagement suggests that we could remain vulnerable, investigating complex punctums, multiple assemblies, engaged participation, and recursive systems as alternate ways to encounter new aesthetic and social formations.