Shifter: Waiting | Guadalupe Maravilla and Lauren Williams
A businessperson waits for a delayed subway. A wrongly convicted prisoner awaits justice. A refugee waits for their asylum case. A nation waits for the promised boon of economic development. The world waits for a vaccine. Nature waits for its exploitation to end.
Waiting is usually what we do between things. It is the space between two destinations, an empty and anxious time to fill with distractions. But when we look more closely, we see that waiting is also an activity in itself, bristling with energy, uncertainty, and inequality. What does the condition of waiting reveal about us, our world, and the natural environment that sustains it?
This series of eight sessions offer glimpses into the thought and practices of artists, architects, historians, and theorists who grapple with this question.
In this hour-long session, Guadalupe Maravilla will speak about his work on immigration detention, trauma, and healing through sound. Lauren Williams will present her exploration of how Black rage, born of chronic waiting, can be a transformative power. A brief moderated discussion and audience Q&A will follow.
These events, and the resulting publication, Shifter 25: Waiting, are co-hosted by MIT List Visual Arts Center and Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati in conjunction with solo exhibitions by Sreshta Rit Premnath to be held in March 2021 (MIT List Center) and October 2021 (CAC).
About the Speakers
Guadalupe Maravilla creates fictionalized performances, videos, sculptures and drawings that incorporate his pre-colonial Central American ancestry, personal mythology, and autobiography. Through his multidisciplinary studio practice, Maravilla traces the history of his displacement, interrogating the parallels between pre-Columbian cultures and our border politics. Guadalupe Maravilla has performed and presented his work extensively in venues such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, ICA Miami, Queens Museum, Bronx Museum, El Museo Del Barrio, MARTE (El Salvador), Central America Biennial X (Costa Rica), XI Nicaragua Biennial, Performa 11 & 13, Fuse-Box Festival, Exit Art, Smack Mellon, Rubin Foundation and the Drawing Center.
Lauren Williams is a designer, organizer, researcher, and educator. She works with visual and interactive media to understand, critique, and reimagine the ways social and economic systems distribute and exercise power. She teaches full-time in the Communication Design department at the College for Creative Studies and occasionally elsewhere. Lately, her practice and research revolves around Blackness, identity, bodiliness, and social fictions and examines the ways in which racism is felt, embodied, and embedded into institutions. Her work often engages people through collaborations and facilitated experiences in service of imagining and manifesting a more liberated present and future. In the past, she’s managed programs and policy aimed at cultivating economic justice.
Shifter explores the intersection of contemporary art, theory, and experimental writing. They convene public dialogues and produce publications. Shifter is programmed by Sreshta Rit Premnath and Avi Alpert.