Seeds of Change Lunchtime Reading: Melanie Kress and Eric Rodriguez, High Line

Lunchtime Reading Series Tue 14 Nov 2017 12.30PM-2.00PM Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries
Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
Parsons School of Design
66 Fifth Avenue

Free Admission, Free Sandwich with RSVP to

Additional readings
11/7 With Wendy S. Walters
11/9 With Patricia Klindienst
11/16 With Jennifer Kabat
11/21 With Alex Smith and M. Téllez from Metropolarity
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From November 3 to 27, 2017 the Vera List Center hosts a series of bi-weekly lunchtime readings in the context of Maria Thereza Alves, Seeds of Change: New York—A Botany of Colonization. These readings, organized in collaboration with The High Line, activate and amplify the metaphors and relations embedded in the exhibition.

The reading on Tuesday, November 14th, guest curated by The High Line includes a discussion of public space moderated by Melanie Kress (High Line Art Assistant Curator) and Eric Rodriguez (High Line Horticultural Coordinator). Two texts ground the conversation, "Agoraphobia" from Rosalyn Deutsche's Evictions, Art and Spatial Politics; and Vito Acconci's essay from 1990 "Public Space in a Private Time," published in Critical Inquiry.

Building on this writing the conversation will aim to address questions of democracy and participation; who is the public and whose identity, needs and activities define and are defined by public space; whose experience is sanctioned and whose is not; how the classifications of such experiences define what is sanctioned as public art and what is occluded from this realm; and the ways these categories shape the acknowledgement of humans as participants and common citizens in the wider thing that is nature. While we encourage the participants to read the two texts beforehand this is not a requirement.

The readings in this series address the variegated intersections of Alves' project and those of contemporary writers including: Wendy S. Walters, Patricia Klindienst, Jennifer Kabat, Alex Smith (Metropolarity) and M. Téllez (Metropolarity). To expand on these connections each reading draws out specific narrative threads over the course of this month long reading series engagement.

Melanie Kress is the Assistant Curator for High Line Art, where for almost four years she has overseen the video and performance programs for the park, and co-curates approximately fifteen new sculpture and mural annually with HLA Director & Chief Curator. Since 2014, she has commissioned and produced projects with artists including Maria Hassabi, Zoe Leonard, Ryan McNamara, Eduardo Navarro, Aki Sasamoto, Cally Spooner, and Naama Tasabar, among others. In 2010 she co-founded the Brooklyn-based project space Concrete Utopia, of which she was Director and Chief Curator until its closing in 2012. Kress has over ten years of experience curating contemporary art, having presented projects at Artists Space, NY; Art in General, NY; Bétonsalon, Paris; and Schalter Projektraum, Berlin, among many others.

The Seeds of Change Lunchtime Reading Series is organized in collaboration with Melanie Kress, Eric Rodriguez, Jasmin Chabla and Andi Pettis at The High Line. These readings draw on a community of elected affinities responding to the exhibition and look to the future it promises in the summer of 2018 when the plants are re-sited in ballast flora gardens around New York, including the forthcoming installation at The High Line, as well as Pioneer Works and Weeksville Heritage Center.

Hyperallergic is the exclusive media sponsor for the International Vera List Center Prize for Art and Politics 2016-2018.