The Making Of: Publics + Liberation
2016, PRESS PRESS X TEMPORARY ART REVIEW | Role: Editor & Author
On an evening in December, a group of us gathered together to talk about what it means to make a public, considering our immediate context of Baltimore City, post the Trump election, and throughout the various histories we each brought to the room. This discussion surveys our various attempts and approaches to carving out intentional public spaces that work against and in spite of oppressive structures. We gathered at our storefront space while it was still in the process of build-out to discuss these ideas and brainstorm what this space could become. One common thread throughout the conversation that stayed with me is that building publics, in whatever form that takes, is one approach towards finding our collective liberation; something that this conversation attempts at defining. In “Bodies In Alliance and the Politics of the Street,” Judith Butler referencing philosopher Hannah Arendt, speaks about the space that is formed between bodies that gather publicly, what she calls the space of appearance, and it’s potential to produce a sense of freedom for it’s participants. Read on.