Practising Art Internationally

Friendship, Solidarity, and Ethics

  • Approaches visual art as a practice able to generate encounters based on shared interests and struggles; alternative ways of life; and new historical narratives.
  • Examples range from class-based feminist critique to transcultural ways of LGBT-life, from pan-Africanism to 20th century Indian cosmopolitanism.

Editors: Binna Choi, Lisa Rosendahl, and Grant Watson with Andrea Phillips
Contributors: Sara Ahmed, Rustom Bharucha, Binna Choi, Alice Creischer and Andreas Siekmann with Matthijs de Bruijne, Kodwo Eshun and Anjalika Sagar (The Otolith Group), Leela Gandhi, Johanna Gustavsson, Christian Nyampeta, Park Chan-kyong, Andrea Phillips, Lisa Rosendahl, and Grant Watson
Design: David Bennewith

2020, Valiz with Casco Art Institute: working for the commons, Iaspis - the Swedish Art Grants Committee's International Programme for Visual and Applied Artists, Stockholm, Institute of International Visual Art (Iniva), London | paperback | ca. 192 pp. | 27 x 21 cm (h x w) | English | ISBN 978-94-92095-61-9

What is at stake in Practising Art Internationally is an attempt to de-align the discussion of international art practice from the rhetoric of globalization and an exclusive focus on the contemporary. Instead, it seeks to trace a genealogy of trans-local practices, with histories and methods that link to networks of friendship and solidarity, and of the visual arts as participating in a longer history of contact between individuals motivated by shared interests and struggles. Visual art is not limited to a discipline but rather thought of as a practice, able to generate encounters, ways of life, and historical narratives in a different register.
This is reflected in Practising Art Internationally through a set of concrete examples, including an account of an artist assembly from the 1990s running counter to an art fair, an alliance with migrant workers, a class-based critique within international feminism, transcultural ways of life from the LGBT community, analysis of work conditions in cultural institutions, early twentieth-century cosmopolitanism in India and its links to progressive movements worldwide, as a well as pan-Africanism in the second half of the twentieth century under the intensive reworking of colonized territories as new nation-states.

The choice of ‘international’ in the project title (rather than the other terms that occur interchangeably in this book) flags the connection of this approach to a legacy of twentieth-century leftist internationalism woven through many of the contributions.