Theory — 21 Mar 2018

Practising Care. Curated by Karen Archey.
€ 3,- (excl. museum entrance) / Rietveld students free with registration
Teijin Auditorium, livestream in studio A
21 Mar 2018, 10 am until 5.30 pm
Main language

It is often cited that the etymological root of the word curating is “curare,” to care. Thus, the fundamental role of the curator, it could be argued, is to care—not just for art objects but also for artists themselves. Curators, as well as other art industry workers, are on the front lines of negotiating the needs of institutions, galleries, and other organizations and their budgets and bottom lines, with the needs of the artist. Yet what if the needs of the artist go beyond what is considered “normal”? Too often artists who need a particular kind of care—whether it be a wheelchair ramp, sign language interpreter, or just extra attention and empathy negotiating the often-intimidating structures of the institution—are rejected or held in disdain on the basis of their needs. The very architecture of the institution was not formed for them, and perpetuates an exclusivity preferring those with traditionally “normal” bodies and abilities.

Many artists who require care to function have been forced to make an art out of confronting the social contract of labor. In the words of artist Joseph Grigely, “Those who are disabled have this way of transgressing the equanimity of social life.” Despite the relative liberalness of the art world, so too does it uphold normative ideas about liveliness, human productivity and economics, particularly resource dispersal.

The symposium “Practicing Care” considers the role of care, empathy and interdependence within professional and creative spheres. Featured speakers include artists and writers who work with concepts relating to communication, empathy, and community trauma and solidarity.


Mirthe Berentsen, writer
Jesse Darling, artist
Joseph Grigely, artist/writer
Carolyn Lazard, artist
Luke Willis Thompson, artist


Block 1

10.30 Welcome | Jorinde Seijdel
10.45 Introduction | Karen Archey
11:00 Untitled | Luke Willis Thompson
11:45 Break

Block 2

12:00 An Inventory | Jesse Darling
1:15 Lunch break 

Block 3

2:00 The Beauty of Distress | Mirthe Berentsen
2:30 Crip Time | Carolyn Lazard (screening and skype conversation)
3:15 Break 

Block 4

3:30 Thank You: On What it Means to Care | Joseph Grigely
4:15 Roundtable discussion with Luke Willis Thompson, Jesse Darling, Mirthe Berentsen and Joseph Grigely
5:00 End of program