Living as Form is an unprecedented, international project exploring over twenty years of cultural works that blur the forms of art and everyday life, emphasizing participation, dialogue, and community engagement.
Living as Form provides a broad look at a vast array of socially engaged practices that appear with increasing regularity in fields ranging from theater to activism, and urban planning to visual art. The project brings together twenty-five curators, documents over 100 artists’ projects in a large-scale survey exhibition inside the historic Essex Street Market building, features nine new commissions in the surrounding neighborhood, and provides a dynamic online archive of over 350 socially engaged projects.
Living as Form will culminate with a book, co-published by Creative Time Books and MIT Press, that will highlight projects from the exhibition archive, as well as commissioned essays from noted critics and theorists in the field, including Carol Becker, Claire Bishop, Teddy Cruz, Brian Holmes, Maria Lind, and Shannon Jackson. Detailing some of the most important socially engaged projects from the last twenty years, this unique archive will provide key examples, allow insights into methodologies, contextualize the conditions of site, and broaden the range of what constitutes this form. Living as Form: Socially Engaged Art from 1991-2011 will be out in January 2012.
Invited artists, organizers, and groups include:
Ai Weiwei; Ala Plástica; Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla; Lara Almarcegui and Begoña Movellán; Alternate ROOTS; Francis Alÿs; Appalshop; Claire Barclay; Barefoot Artists; Basurama; Marilyn Douala Bell and Didier Schaub; BijaRi; Stephen Biko and partners; Bread and Puppet Theatre; CAMP; Cemeti Art House; Mel Chin; Chto delat? (What is to be done?); Colectivo Cambalache; Phil Collins; Complaints Choir; Céline Condorelli and Gavin Wade; Cornerstone Theater Company; Minerva Cuevas; Cybermohalla Ensemble; Decolonizing Architecture; Jeremy Deller; Mark Dion, J. Morgan Puett, and collaborators; Fallen Fruit; Finishing School; Free Class Frankfurt/M.; Frente 3 de Fevereiro; Theaster Gates; Paul Glover; Josh Greene; Federico Guzmán and Alonso Gil; Fritz Haeg; Haha; Harlem (Election Night 2008); Jeanne van Heeswijk; Helena Producciones; Stephen Hobbs and Marcus Neustetter; Fran Ilich; Farid Jahangir and Sassan Nassiri, Bita Fayyazi, Ata Hasheminejad, and Khosrow Hassanzedeh; Kein Mensch Ist Illegal (No One Is Illegal); Amal Kenawy; Suzanne Lacy; Steve Lambert, Andy Bichlbaum of The Yes Men, and collaborators; The Land Foundation; Long March Project; Los Angeles Poverty Department; Rick Lowe; Mammalian Diving; Reflex/Darren O’Donnell; Mardi Gras Indian Community; Eduardo Vázquez Martín; Angela Melitopoulos; Zayd Minty; The Mobile Academy; Mongrel; Anthea Moys and Bronwyn Lace; Mujeres Creando; Vik Muniz; NSK (Neue Slowenische Kunst); Nuts Society; John O’Neal; Oda Projesi; Wendelien van Oldenborgh; Marion von Osten and collaborators; Park Fiction, part of the Right to the City Network Hamburg; Pase Usted; Piratbyrån (The Bureau of Piracy); Platforma 9.81; Public Movement; Pulska Grupa; Navin Rawanchaikul; Pedro Reyes; Laurie Jo Reynolds; Athi-Patra Ruga; The San Francisco Cacophony Society; Katerina Šedá; Chemi Rosado Seijo; Michihiro Shimabuku; Andreas Siekmann and Alice Creischer; Buster Simpson; Slanguage; Apolonija Sustersic; Tahrir Square (2011); Taller Popular de Serigrafía (TPS); Mierle Laderman Ukeles; Ultra-red; United Indian Health Services; Urban Bush Women; The U.S. Social Forum; Voina; Peter Watkins; WikiLeaks; Elin Wikström; WochenKlausur; Women on Waves.
The 15,000 square-foot historic Essex Street Market building in the Lower East Side of Manhattan serves as the hub for Living as Form. An architectural environment designed by the collective Common Room houses the Living as Form archival exhibition, a vast collection of documentation of 100 socially engaged projects from the last twenty years and from locations around the globe. In addition, the exhibition space will be activated by a series of events and performances, and offer dynamic areas for artists and collectives to present new work throughout the show.
September 24–October 16
Thursday–Sunday, 12–8 PM
The historic Essex Street Market
Southeast corner of Essex and Delancey Streets
(entrance on Delancey), NYC