This long term project reflects on the recent Belt and Road Initiative in China (OBOR), and how it will alter the aesthetics and practices of everyday life in different local contexts. The project invites collaborations with artists, activists, architects, agricultural researchers, and anthropologists in an effort to try and understand the impact of the OBOR on different locales, creating a critical analysis and reflection.
The project should develop in dialogue with different institutions in the parts of the world where OBOR has a great presence, such as in Central Asia, the Balkans, East Africa, who will act as hosts and facilitators of the research to be done in collaboration with local communities. The project will also de-centralize the importance of an exhibition as a mode of presentation and consider further different ways of going public by establishing local archives related to OBOR, embarking on artist commissions, and developing other rituals of exchange and sharing through public programs
Rationale for the project:
From my preliminary research in Central Asia, the Balkans, and East Africa, which was conducted with support from the Foundation for Art Initiatives, I have discovered that there has been almost no critical reflection produced in relation to the OBOR within local communities, nor even among intellectuals and different art practitioners. The impact of infrastructural development and OBOR investment in many of these localities is quite extreme. Thus, this long term project attempts to connect the different local contexts, many of which are not usually on the contemporary art map, most of which are dismissed for being non-western, or not western enough. Part of this effort is then to imagine new connections within and between these localities that could be lasting and function as vehicles for further thinking about the commons, searching for ways to think and act in new, more self-determined situations.
- How could an arts related project truly permeate reality?
- How can artistic practices facilitate a better understanding of the world around us and its ongoing transformation?
- How do we find ways to work together across different localities, especially when there may not be proper infrastructure in place to support such activity or contemporary art in general?
- Is it possible to speak about solidarity across these different contexts, in what terms and how might we go about it?
- Is it possible to slow down the process of production, affording artists and researchers the time and space to develop projects that will have a real impact in a local context?
- How do we imagine and develop different working rituals amongst each other through this process?