Against Competition/Towards Mutual Aid 2017

Feb 1 - Feb 14, 2017
Flux Factory
39-31 29th St
Long Island City, NY 11101

Against Competition/Towards Mutual Aid was a collaborative arts project developed by ABC No Rio and Flux Factory. Based on the ideas that art should exist as a venture that nourishes collaboration and that competitive approaches should be bypassed and replaced by more mutualist and participatory practices, the exhibition sought to create an alternative to the traditional atmosphere of art production and exhibition.

Over the course of several months, six people from ABC No Rio and Flux Factory met regularly to discuss how to structure an exhibition that would encourage collaboration and mutual aid. The organizers decided that to avoid the judgement inherent in curation, they would let artists self-select themselves by responding to a questionnaire and making a commitment to the show.

In an open call, interested artists were asked to fill out a questionnaire about their thoughts on mutual aid and collaboration, details on a proposed project that was out of the scope of their individual practice and needed the help of others to be realized, and a list of their skill sets and tools and materials they would be willing to share with others.They were also asked to commit to two out of four planning meetings. Eighteen artists participated.

In the month leading up to the exhibition, weekly potlucks allowed the artists to get to know each other and introduce their proposed projects, and to see how they could help each other. Some of the projects needed people as participants, performers or laborers, while others invited collaboration on the concept. Over the course of six weeks, the artists and organizers formed a spontaneous community based on their shared objective, intensifying in the two weeks where the artists were working and exhibiting in the gallery. This process culminated in a series of works fully realized through the collaboration of the artists, some of them exactly as envisioned and others in exciting and unexpected ways.

Artists participating in Against Competition/Towards Mutual Aid include Razan AlSalah, Rachel Brown, Lee Brozgol, Kerry Cox, Elizabeth Demaray, Rachel Haberstroh, Robert Hieger, Rachel Hillery, Christopher Lin, Jemila MacEwan, Firoz Mahmud, Liz Naiden + Anatole Hocek, Patrícia Silva, Alex Strada, Julieta Triangular, Moira Williams, Ariel Zakarison, and Joanie Fritz Zosike.

Against Competition/Towards Mutual Aid was organized by ABC No Rio Collective members Vandana Jain, Mike Estabrook, Brian George and Steven Englander, and Flux Factory Artists in Residence Eleni Theodora Zaharopolos and Christina Freeman.