Kimi Hanauer (b. 1993) is an artist, cultural organizer, and writer originally from Tel Aviv and based in Baltimore & Los Angeles. Kimi is the founding editor and lead organizer of Press Press, an interdisciplinary publishing studio that aims to shift and deepen the understanding of voices, identities, and narratives that have been suppressed or misrepresented by the mainstream. In her practice, she aims to cultivate models and methodologies that can serve as utopian alternatives to our current realities, and develop networks and spaces that can translate these alternatives into concrete experiences. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is held in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art’s Library, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
In my practice as an artist, cultural organizer, and writer, I am dedicated to two primary goals: first, to cultivate models and methodologies that can serve as utopian alternatives to our current realities, and second, to develop networks and spaces that can translate these alternatives into concrete experiences. The alternatives I foster introduce complications to our understanding of the world while simultaneously pointing the way to unrealized possibilities beyond it. My practice is mostly collaborative, often taking hybrid and experimental forms that are only fully actualized when others activate the works through their participation, for example, as specific attendees of a workshop, players of a game, co-authors of a manifesto, or simply through their presence at a gathering.
In addition to my collaborative work, I pursue an independent research-based practice that takes both critical and generative approaches. My independent practice serves as another medium for cultivating utopian alternatives. The generative research involves rethinking our relationship and engagement with art, while the critical research involves surfacing the ideological structures that form our contemporary reality. Recently, I have been primarily concerned with explicating the intersections of nationality, immigration, race, and power. My research practice is influenced by my own experience of immigration and aims to make the ground of the migrant experience intelligible to myself and to others. Using historical documents and materials - like legal briefs, zoning policies, trial proceedings, etc. - I create archives, manifestos, and sculptures that give concrete form to the critical findings of my research. Currently, I am focused on the racialized notions of the “American citizen” and the “immigrant,” and their relation to contemporary forms of white supremacy.
While the work I do as an artist, writer, and cultural organizer inhabits a space between multiple forms, thriving in uncertainty and flux, the ultimate aim is to initiate transformative experiences that unleash the critical and utopian potentials in the participants and collaborators who engage with (and sometimes constitute) the work.
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