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Something Human’s coming to Nottingham! 04 October 2016

Annie: Hello, we are Alessandra and Annie, and we’re Something Human. We’ll be “taking over” the Bonington Gallery blog as we are guest curators for the exhibition Krísis, which opens with a preview on Thursday 27 October 2016. In the following blog posts, we’ll be sharing some insights and reflections from the different artists involved in the project, and also some of our thoughts as we prepare to come up to Nottingham to install and open the show.

First off, a little about who we are. We’re independent curators based in London and we work together in partnership under the rubric of  ‘Something Human’. Something Human was started in 2012 as a collective, based on the shared interest in the idea of “movement across borders”, and it sought to create cross-cultural collaborations and conversations with curators, artists, practitioners and thinkers. It was called Something Human because initially, it was a bunch of people from all over the world and we were struggling to find a name that could represent all our different aesthetics, ideas and principles – and somehow, we alighted on ‘something human’ as a commonality – and the name stuck!

Alessandra: I joined Something Human in June 2013 and I was thrilled about the idea of starting to work together on an open and independent platform interested in exploring movement and relationships across boundaries, through a multidisciplinary and experimental approach in collaboration with artists.

Since joining in June 2013 we have worked together on the stopovers of a nomadic project whose finale instalment has now brought us to Nottingham, three years later – the MOVE W I T H (OUT) project. This is a travelling exhibition project with site-specific performance interventions that has now taken place in ten cities: Berlin, London, Rome, Venice, Belgrade, Singapore, Budapest, Skopje, Lisbon and now finally, Nottingham. We’re very grateful for the invitation of Professor Duncan Higgins and Dr Roy Smith at the Nottingham Trent University for inviting us to bring the project to Nottingham.

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Annie:  Over the different instalments of the MOVE W I T H (OUT) project, we had the privilege of connecting with the artists and arts scenes of different city centres, which led to many deep discussions regarding the arts and the city, and the different socio-political-economic factors as push-pull forces that instigate migrations of people to, from and across cities. As we were making this journey, it also became apparent that larger narratives of crisis were escalating across the world, whether it was the increasing representations of violence and conflict in the media, the humanitarian refugee crisis or social and political tension in different countries. It did make us question – how can art make a difference? Indeed, can art, and therefore, artists and art producers, make a difference?

Alessandra: Working on all the iterations of MOVE W I T H (OUT) made me feel that it has been impossible to avoid the term ‘crisis’. It forcefully entered the public vocabulary as well as my personal one with strength and as a constant presence, such that it was time to deal with it. What better opportunity than co-curating a show and public programme where we can involve artists to help address and respond to it? And if asked “why art?”, I would borrow Boris Groys’s definition of what the avant-garde’s role could be today: ‘Artists do not and cannot predict the future for us but rather demonstrate the transitory character of the present and thus – hopefully – open a way for the new’.

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Annie:  For Krísis, and indeed for the MOVE W I T H (OUT) project that has led up to this final culmination, we’ve been very fortunate to work with incredible artists from all corners of the world. For Krísis, our artists bring their practices from different national and cultural contexts, which have also been informed by their movements across the global contexts in their work.

They will bring their reflections via very different mediums and forms, from installation to video, photography to performance and participatory interventions. We’re also excited to be working with Professor Higgins and Dr Smith on the symposium where NTU researchers, visiting speakers and artists will all address the theme of the project with their different perspectives.

Alessandra: The invitation we received from NTU and Bonington Gallery to curate the Krísis exhibition and public programme as a final reflection on the MOVE W I T H (OUT) project came at a moment when we really wanted to map the lines of this incredible journey that has been shaping our understanding of both curating in public and private spaces, and the network built of relationships with interesting international art scenes.

Nottingham will be an incredible opportunity to share our experiences and the practices of artists we have met along the way, via a series of artworks, performances, workshops and a symposium free for everyone to attend. We do hope the local, national and international audience will join us!

For more information on Something Human visit something-human.org

For more information about Krísis visit krisis.live

Images credits: alikati

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