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Maseru and Cuernavaca participate in «Elephants in the Room» at Casco, Utrecht (November 2018)

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Elephant in the room 219

Elephants in the Room,  presented by Casco Art Institute in the Netherlands in November 2018, was the first in a new yearly assembly aimed at becoming a meeting place for art organizations to question habitual institutional patterns and imagine ways of “commoning” together. This year’s assembly was designed to investigate how, in relation to ideas of the commons, “art-institutional change relate(s) to unlearning, particularly with regards to redistribution of power.” This topic was presented in relation to the collaborative project between Annette Krauss and the Casco Art Institute team “Site for Unlearning Art Organization,” a series of practical exercises that culminated in Casco’s name change, from “Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory,” to “Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons.”

Unlearning capitalist relations is a question of survival. Besides its effect on climate, capitalism has been corroding social cohesion for centuries and created the greatest inequalities the Earth has ever seen. Art (understood as the extended field of people involved in the practice of the Imaginary) should play a role in leading us to safer ground—or it risks becoming irrelevant and/or purely escapist. However, we can’t unmake and remake the world overnight, and I can hardly blame the assembly for not providing clear answers. Elephants in the Room did what its title implies: it brought into focus some glaring but difficult-to-acknowledge truths—including the fact that most of us inadvertently perpetuate problematic institutional habits and those structures of power. 

Given that Another Roadmap shared common areas of inquest and practice, we were invited to share a panel with Arts Collaboratory represented by Lineo Segoete (Maseru) and Sofia Olascoaga (Cuernavaca) and discuss our points of intersection and areas in which we could learn from each other. The event was filled with robust discussions, activities and mappings that applied the idea of organisations as sites of unlearning. You can read more about it here


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