Launching January 21st, a new art book, What Are Our Supports? examines how simple and essential daily gestures can transform more than just the art world. Independent curator and writer Joni Low launches the anthology at 2pm on Jan. 21st at SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts.
What Are Our Supports?, co-edited with art historian Jeff O’Brien, highlights the need to reinvigorate sustainable and alternative support networks for artists and art communities during times of uncertainty and change —from the infrastructural and funding supports that make art possible to the more intangible emotional and cultural supports that are at the core of all communities. The publication takes a bold look at how individuals can shape the future of living in diverse, complex societies through simple daily gestures, and what we can learn through the quests of art.
The anthology is both an archive and a continuation of the ideas that originated in the innovative 2018 project of the same name, (which took place in Home Made Home Boothy, a convertible, telephone-booth sized platform created by Germaine Koh), curated by Low, in partnership with Or Gallery and Richmond Art Gallery, and based around . Featuring over 20 contributors, with commissioned poems, essays, and artists’ reflections, What Are Our Supports? is co-published by partners that span the country: Information Office, Doryphore Independent Curators Society, Richmond Art Gallery, and Art Metropole.
“When the pandemic hit in March 2020, I realized that many of the urgent public discussions around the need for support networks during times of tumultuous change resonated strongly with what we had explored in What Are Our Supports?,” says Low. “This publication is composed of creative responses which make perceptible the supports that are core to staying connected: communication, exchange, cooperation, friendship, trust, care, and practice — which has resonances beyond the art world. I hope this book will motivate readers to imagine, sense, and enact new possible futures, as they recognize how integral the act of mutual support is within our social fabric. Ideally, this book will inspire people to participate in strengthening this fabric through small and collective actions — understanding that each moment and exchange in our lives is practicing what it means to be human.”
The five artist groups featured in 2018 project and in the book are: Germaine Koh, Aron Louis Cohen, and Russell Gordon; Emily Neufeld and T’uy’t’tanat-Cease Wyss; S F Ho and Elisa Ferrari; DRIL Art Collective with Elisa Ferrari, John Brennan, Justin Patterson, and Michele Helen Mackenzie; and Andrew Lee, Khan Lee, and Francis Cruz. Joining the groups’ works in the book are a host of new poems and reprinted text alongside new featured artwork.
The free What Art Our Supports? book launch on January 21, 2023 at SFU Goldcorp Centre for Arts, 149 West Hastings, will feature artist presentations, followed by a discussion and refreshments. RSVP for the event online at Eventbrite pre-order the book now at i-o.cc/books/supports