Living as Form (The Nomadic Version)

  • Tomashi Jackson. High Tide (Red Handed), 2012. Photo by Christine Licata, Art in Odd Places, New York.

  • Caitlin Berrigan, Lessions in Capitalism (detail), 2014.

  • Chris Csikszentmihályi, Freedom Files 01, 2003-2006.

  • Design Studio for Social Intervention. Residents learning and exchanging recipes at Public Kitchen III, Oct 2013. 

  • Dirt Palace, print shop/bottle window, 2013. Photo by Xander Marro.

  • John Hulsey, Letters to Bank of America, 2012-2013 (documentation image).

  • Walker Mettling and the Providence Comics Consortium, PCC Showcase, Various Issues, 2011-2013.

  • Suzanne Lacy, The Roof is on Fire, 1993-94. Courtesy of the artist.


Feb 7 – Apr 6, 2014
Level 1 + Level 3, Sert Gallery

The Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts (CCVA) joins Creative Time and Independent Curators International (ICI) to present a customized iteration of Living as Form (The Nomadic Version). Free and open to the public, the exhibition surveys groundbreaking works from around the world that together register one of the most important developments in recent art history: the rise in the last twenty-five years of a renewed sphere of artistic practices that blur the lines between art and everyday life in projects emphasizing political concerns, participation, and forms of dialogue.

The exhibition features two groups of works: twenty-three internationally recognized projects dating from 1991 to 2011, traveling through 2014 courtesy of ICI; and nine recent works by emerging artists and collectives with strong ties to the Boston area and Providence, Rhode Island, selected by the CCVA. Presented works span diverse formal approaches: outdoor video projection, open-air debate, performance, spatial occupation, and a host of others. Agitational, meditative, playful, or didactic, their concerns are equally varied, ranging from border politics to finance capitalism, the prison industrial complex, urban divestment, and systemic racism. They pool tactics from fields as diverse as community organizing and street protest; many works share as much with the history of civic organizations, feminist politics, and radical pedagogy as with the history of visual art. Some projects seek modest, incremental points of contact between art and activism. Others blur such lines more dramatically, extending a long history of both political activism (which has long mobilized skills and strategies associated with art) and art practice (where the idea of dissolving art into life remains a longstanding interest).

The exhibition’s foundation is a flexible constellation of nearly fifty international works selected by Nato Thompson with a network of other curators, touring via hard drive as Living as Form (The Nomadic Version) to venues all over the world. Accumulating new work as it travels, this unprecedented collaboration in turn builds on the earlier site-specific exhibition, Living as Form, presented by Creative Time in New York’s historic Essex Street Market in the fall of 2011.

Artists in the exhibition

Lara Almarcegui and Begoña Movellán; Appalshop; Jacob Berendes; Caitlin Berrigan; Chto Delat; The Complaints Choir; Chris Csikszentmihalyi; DAAR; Farid Djahangir, Sassan Nassiri, Bita Fayyazi, Att Hasheminejad, and Khosrow Hassanzedeh; the Design Studio for Social Intervention; the Dirt Palace; Helena Producciones; John Hulsey; Tomashi Jackson; Suzanne Lacy; Los Angeles Poverty Department; Rick Lowe with Sam Durant and Jessica Cusick; Mammalian Diving Reflex; Mardi Gras Indian Community; Maria Molteni and New Crafts Artists in Action; Walker Mettling; Katerina Šedá; Chemi Rosado Seijo; Athi-Patra Ruga; Slanguage; Ultra-Red; Peter Watkins; Ai Weiwei; WikiLeaks; Women on Waves.

Claire Grace

Claire Grace is a Part-Time Lecturer at Tufts University and a doctoral candidate in art history at Harvard University, where she is completing a dissertation on Group Material. She was co-curator with Helen Molesworth of the 2009/2010 exhibition ACT UP New York: Activism, Art and the AIDS Crisis, 1987-1993 (CCVA, Cambridge, MA; White Columns, NY).

Nato Thompson

Nato Thompson is Chief Curator at Creative Time, New York, as well as a writer and activist. Among his public projects for Creative Time are Tania Bruguera’s Immigrant Movement International Democracy in America: The National Campaign, and Waiting for Godot, a project by Paul Chan held in New Orleans. Thompson was formerly a curator at MASS MoCA, and he also curated ICI’s Experimental Geography, which traveled to eight venues in North America.

Tues, Feb 11, 2014, Level 3, Sert Gallery, 6-7 pm
Thur, Mar 27, 2014 Level 3,Sert Gallery, 5-6 pm (prior to the lecture by Nato Thompson)

Living as Form (The Nomadic Version) is co-organized by Creative Time and Independent Curators International (ICI), and assembled in collaboration with Claire Grace, guest curator for the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts.

Living as Form (The Nomadic Version) is the flexible, expanding iteration of Living as Form, an exhibition curated by Nato Thompson and presented by Creative Time in the fall of 2011 in New York City. Lead project support for the original Living as Form exhibition was provided by the Annenberg Foundation, the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, the Danish Consulate, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Mondriaan Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Additional support for Living as Form (The Nomadic Version) was provided by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation; and the ICI Board of Trustees.

The projects included in Living as Form were selected by a group of curators, writers, artists, and historians, including: Caron Atlas, Negar Azimi, Ron Bechet, Claire Bishop, Brett Bloom, Rashida Bumbray, Carolina Caycedo, Ana Paula Cohen, Common Room, Teddy Cruz, Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy, Gridthiya Gaweewong, Hou Hanru, Stephen Hobbs and Marcus Neustetter, Shannon Jackson, Maria Lind, Chus Martínez, Sina Najafi, Marion von Osten, Ted Purves, Raqs Media Collective, Gregory Sholette, SUPERFLEX, Christine Tohme, Bik Van der Pol, and Sue Bell Yank.

Image credits: Design Studio for Social Intervention, residents learning and exchanging recipes at Public Kitchen III, Oct 2013. The Food Project Greenhouse, Dorchester, MA. Image by Rafael Feliciano Cumbas. Maria Molteni and New Craft Artists in Action, Finger Knit Net Work, made in collaboration with Cushing House Men's Group, 2013, South Boston. Image by Maria Molteni.