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Welcome to Christian Smith

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016


Christian Smith in the ICI garden where he begins to build a portable darkroom that he’ll use for his contribution to the ICI’s current long-term project – With Everything But the Monkey Head: theorizing art’s untheorizable processes. Christian will be working behind the scenes for most of May, eventually cobbling together, in addition to the outdoor darkroom,  a large format camera which he’ll use to create wet plate photographic images from century-old techniques. Watch for his ‘formal’  Monkey Head residency (as we affectionately call the project) where he’ll share his unique research with the public—this event to occur sometime in June of this year.

Welcome to VIR – Jamie Knight

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

PATT-AIDS Reading List

A very special welcome to VIR Jamie Knight who will be digging into the ICI’s extensive ‘AIDS archive’ of documents and ephemera created during our 20+ years of AIDS activism. I will be very curious to see how he uses this material to unpack, as he terms it, our… cultural amnesia created by decades of “wounded attachments.”

It’s been over 2 decades since I was invited to give my ‘response’ to the AIDS pandemic and its impact on the field of art history. The black hole at the center of my ‘assessment’ (pictured above) represents a deep and painful feeling of loss that has not abated over the years. In fact, the feelings it elicits seem even more stinging today. When I look at this image-text, after many years of deep storage, the large and imposing ‘black sun’ in its center is unable to hold any weight against the small dedication in the lower right corner. Those two words were added, no doubt, as a personal postscript; their small size reminds us of the etiquette surrounding public displays of private grief. Today, we know that with AIDS, all grief is public and political. By 1995, that visual whisper would become the opening salvo to the clarion call of all our AIDS activism.

for Rory … we’ll keep repeating your name

Our AIDS activism was born out of a raw, numbing grief, was weaned on disillusionment, and eventually became codified into a few long-term projects that were, and are still, fueled by a kind of melancholic compulsion-to-repeat.

Wounded attachments?

I look forward to finding out.

for Rory

A Different Kind of Institute in a Box

Friday, July 25th, 2014

A cabinet dedicated to Institute objects and ephemera found in the home of two ICI Associates.ICIdp-cabinet_with_Sebald-w ICIdp-AIDSbottle_more-wICIdp-conk_art-wICIdp-institute_cab_detail-wICIdp-bataille_soapscum_edit-w