The “Steel Butterfly” and “Lady Bird” Johnson, October 25, 1966.
Asia Art Archive in America Leadership Camp 2018
Theme: Engendering Leadership
First Event: Mixer for previous and incoming Leadership Camp participants on Sunday, December 3, 7–8:30pm
First Session: Sunday, March 4, 2018; subsequent meetings May, July, and September 2018
Location: 43 Remsen Street, Brooklyn NY
Asia Art Archive in America’s second annual Leadership Camp, a four-part closed seminar, takes four case studies as departure points. The aim of the seminar is to collectively and actively workshop emergent and/or alternative models of leadership rooted in and representative of Asia, and to tilt abstract discussions towards cultural practice, whether this be heading a museum, curating an exhibition, or making objects.
Imelda Marcos, former first lady of the Philippines and briefly in exile, serves as our first and controversial case study. The so-called “Steel Butterfly” is now an elected congresswoman of the Ilocos Norte district, mother of politicians, and continues to be an arts patron, gay icon, and alleged grafter. No prior knowledge of Marcos is necessary, and subsequent case studies will be selected by participants. Some initial questions include:
- What Asian social structures—political, corporate, religious, civil, familial—can inform models of contemporary leadership, and how might artists, curators, gallerists, and scholars in Asia and elsewhere productively and selectively deploy these?
- To the extent that it is often said that many communities in Asia privilege the well-being of the collective over the individual, what are the implications for individual leadership, in government as well as in the arts?
- Has de-imperialization and global racialization confounded the colonial-era binary West/non-West as well as the Cold War ideological guidepost liberal humanism v. communism, and what power structures—and positions of power—have replaced them?
- Are there forms of leadership that do not coalesce around people, but rather around technologies, ecologies, collectives, motifs, or entities? What does leadership without human subjects look like?
Leadership Camp is co-organized by Christopher K. Ho and AAAinA’s Ali Wong and Hilary Chassé. Prior to the first session on Sunday, March 4, 5-8pm at Asia Art Archive in America, participants will receive PDFs of the readings we will use as points of departure by email.
Leadership Camp will begin with a social mixer with the previous year’s participants, who include: Amara Antilla, David Borgonjon, Hera Chan, Natasha Degen, Carina Evangelista, Sue Jeong Ka, Thomas D. Looser, Marisha Lozada, Alex Paik, Naomi Reis, Elizaveta Shneyderman, Liam Turkle & Evita Yumul, Taehee Whang, Ange Wong, and Brian Kuan Wood.
Christopher K. Ho (b. Hong Kong, 1974) is known for multi-component projects that are both materially specific and conceptually expansive. He is simultaneously an artist, curator, critic, and educator based in New York and Hong Kong. His forthcoming solo project at the Bronx Museum (October 2018) draws from his lived experience as a Western-educated member of the Chinese diaspora. He has exhibited at, among others, Para Site, Storm King, the Queens Museum, Cranbrook Art Museum, the Des Moines Art Center, Dallas Contemporary, TSA New York, JOAN, MASSMoCA, the Charlotte Street Foundation, the Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp, 179 Canal, and Socrates Sculpture Park. He participated in the Incheon Biennial, the Chinese Biennial Beijing, and the Busan Bienniale, and is currently at work on an augmented reality project for Art Production Fund. The New York Times, Artforum, LEAP, RanDian, China Daily, Art in America, Modern Painters, Hyperallergic, and ArtReview have reviewed his work. He received his BFA and BS from Cornell University and his MPhil from Columbia University, and teaches in the MFA programs at Pratt Institute and at MICA.
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.