Conn, S. (2021). Layering Strategies: Interdisciplinary Performance Creation as Curatorial Act. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.14418/wes01.2.339
Embracing aesthetics of independence and interdependence, this thesis traces a curatorial model of interdisciplinary collaboration which, I argue, positions artist-curators as forerunners of a new form of artistic relationship. I take as case studies art collective My Barbarian, musician and composer Jason Moran, and artist and writer Ni’Ja Whitson. These artists activate curation as a methodology of creation that builds layers of multiplicity and simultaneity, resists institutional hegemony and power structures, and crafts open systems of care for their communities, their ancestors, and their futures. All three create work that resists the traditional curatorial parameters of the performance space through the demands of their interdisciplinarity, a practice that is sustained by complex structures of collectivity and kinship. I outline the criteria of coexistence through which they imbue curatorial practices into their interdisciplinary artistic collaborations, resulting in curatorial acts that generate what I describe as a "third space." This is a fertile space of sustained difference that serves as a portal for the inception of new collective futures. Underlying this research are questions around the politics of self-identification, the ongoing impacts of the 1960s radical freedom movements, and the possibilities of these third spaces of dissensus, ambivalence, and hope.