1-54 Forum New York
5–7 May 2017
Opening Remarks & Keynote, Looking for Freedom
Welcome & Opening Remarks by programme curator Koyo Kouoh (Raw Material Company, Dakar) followed by the opening keynote on 'Looking After Freedom' by Raél Jero Salley (Professor in Art History at the Maryland Institute College of Art, MICA) For 1-54 Forum’s opening address, Salley discusses how "Looking After Freedom" is a way of making “we, the people.” “Looking After Freedom” means caring enough to invent more humanly workable visual, material, and conceptual resources. Artworks provoke new forms for and of imagination. Here, Salley’s point of return is that artists (makers) are always already doing this nurturing work, and invite their viewers to join in. Creative works can mediate fundamental paradoxes that were built into contemporary politics after, during and through struggles for liberation. The struggles are not “post” – citizens find themselves struggling through present-colonialism, present-apartheid, and present attacks on civil rights. “Looking After Freedom” is, therefore, a shorthand for dynamic creativity that goes beyond reflecting situations of injustice, inequality, oppression, violence and the like – from merely documenting them or responding to them – toward generative tools and methods for transformation.
Image: © Katrina Sorrentino