A serial broadsheet publication of the Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto Mississauga, Issue 1 of The Blackwood anticipates Take Care, a transdisciplinary project curated by Letters & Handshakes involving over 100 artists, activists, curators, and researchers critically engaging the crisis of care.
What meanings are assigned to care, and by whom? Who speaks for care? What ways of knowing, representing, or performing care are erased or marginalized by dominant medical or public health framings of care? Who cares, and under what conditions? How are the perceptions of care and the conditions of care work mutually reinforcing? Where are the spaces of learning to care? What is care’s fate under neoliberal capitalism, which is governed by the ideals of competition and individual responsibility? How is the attentiveness necessary for care affected by the demands of contemporary work and always-on media life? How is care enacted or neglected in the affective economies of art and activism? What is the relationship between care and resilience in communities of dissent? What forms and strategies of collective organization are emerging from care work? What would it mean for the exercise of care to be self-determined? What wider political-economic and social transformations are required to democratize the burden of care and establish a “care-centered economy”? (1) How does, and how might, the category of care function politically? Could an expansive conception of care open common discursive ground toward linking multiple struggles in the domain of social reproduction? And finally, how can we work against the tendency of “curatorial and institutional initiatives that perform radicalism on a discursive or representational level, without addressing or transforming the political conditions under which they operate”? (2)
Contributors Albert Banerjee, Emma Dowling, Steven Eastwood, Lauren Fournier, Kassandra Hangdaan, Marisa Morán Jahn, Labrador Land Protectors, Carolyn Lazard, Anchi Lin, Park McArthur, Onaman Collective, Ai-jen Poo, Radiodress, Chloé Roubert, Lynx Sainte-Marie, Gemma Savio, Sarah Sharma, Tania Willard, Constantina Zavitsanos
Publisher Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto Mississauga
Editor Letters & Handshakes
Designer Matthew Hoffman
Copy Editor Jeffrey Malecki
Printer Thistle Printing Ltd.
(1) Ina Praetorius, The Care-Centered Economy: Rediscovering What Has Been Taken for Granted, Heinrich Böll Foundation, Publication Series Economy + Social Issues 16 (2015).
(2) Helena Reckitt, “Support Acts: Curating, Caring and Social Reproduction,” Journal of Curatorial Studies 5, no. 1 (2016): 25. Here, Reckitt draws on Marion von Osten and Andrea Phillips, among others.
Anchi Lin, To The Shore, 2014. Digital video and a broom, 3:37 minutes, looped. Courtesy the artist.