Red Planet

Otherness, But of Course

Are you an artist based in Sheffield and in search of exposure and public funding? Of course you are. This will be thrilling news, then. Especially if you’re an artist “whose practice is felt to have a close relationship to the contextual framework” hinted at below:

Over the last year, international curators Annie Fletcher and Frederique Bergholtz have been working with curators in Sheffield to discuss ideas and to programme Art Sheffield 10. The context for this event involves looking at artists’ practices which are concerned with the idea of ‘affect’ – including care ethics, affective labour (domestic or caring labour which involves the production of affects such as ease, well-being, care, satisfaction, pleasure and so on), ideas on the politics of friendship and corresponding notions of otherness and the marginal.

I’m sure “care ethics, affective labour” and “corresponding notions of otherness and the marginal” are gripping subject matter, at least for an undergraduate socio-political thesis. Or for arts funding applications, with which such things may sometimes be confused. But are ruminations on “affective labour” and “the politics of otherness” really in demand as themes for a publicly funded city-wide art festival? Is that what punters want, and artists, and taxpayers? And if so, just how festive will it be?

Other curatorial efforts by Fletcher and Bergholtz include If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want to Be Part of Your Revolution, a “continuing exploration of paradigms such as theatricality and feminism(s).” According to the project’s helpful mission statement, “If I Can’t Dance… works along the systematic of collaboration. Each edition, defined by a certain field of investigation, engages a set of partners and unfolds along a travelling trajectory.”

The good people of Sheffield must be very excited.

(h/t, Dr Westerhaus.)