Round 48: Beyond Social Practice

Round 48 Opening & Block Party
October 13, 2018 | Noon - 7:00 pm

Viewing Period
October 13, 2018 - February 17, 2019

Open to the Public
Wednesday through Sunday | Noon - 5:00 pm

Round 48: Beyond Social Practice takes its title from the Social Practice.Social Justice symposium organized on the occasion of PRH’s 25th anniversary celebrations. Through this ongoing investigation of exploring how social practice is defined, who defines it and what it means for artists, collectives and institutions, Round 48 brings together a group of artists deeply engaged in collaborative practices that speak to social issues related to identity, politics, activism. “Social practice" emerged from academia to encapsulate the scope of community-based and socially engaged practices that artists have utilized for decades. The term, as ascribed to these practices, is synonymous with the proliferation of academic programs that could be seen as troubling in their attempts to capture, pare down and replicate what has come before. As with the symposium, Round 48 looks to the multitude of forms that “social practice” takes in contemporary art, exploring organic efforts that move beyond the name and elevate the spirit of socially engaged art through their actions.

Round 48 Artists:

  • Tatyana Fazlalizadeh (Brooklyn, NY): Fazlalizadeh’s installation “The Personal as Political” creates a space for people to talk candidly about their experiences being black, women, and/or queer. Their personal stories will then be used to create political art that disrupts the common narrative and forces a new perspective on identity and activism.

  • Armina Mussa (Los Angeles, CA): Mussa’s installation “Out of One’s Skin” uses various mediums such as sculpture, video, duration performance, and performance documentation to allude to the practices of repressive and violent environments.

  • Tia-Simone Gardner (Houston, TX): Gardner’s “The Black Power Station” is a digital audiobook archive and mobile sound installation that highlights authors of African descent whose works were published before 1923, but have fallen out of print.

  • Lisa Harris (Houston, TX): Harris’ “House of Practice” is a holistic recreation center that creates a sacred space and a healing environment through the use of cool colors, calming and orderly interiors, mirrors, furniture, literature and a practitioner. The installation offers organic practices, materials, and information as alternatives to overindulgence in pharmaceutical consumption and digital recreation.

  • Dawn Weleski (Pittsburgh, PA): Weleski’s “Noon at Night” is a pay-what-you-can bakery serving international baked goods, while connecting customers in real-time to other cafés and patrons around the world. “Noon at Night” opens when the sun sets and doesn’t close until sunset the next day, allowing customers in Houston to converse via video conferencing with customers in cafés half a world away where their hour is noon. 

  • jackie sumell (New Orleans, LA): Sumell’s “gRow House” will fill the space with flowers chosen by incarcerated mothers from prisons across the U.S. The installation, which recognizes that 80% of incarcerated women and girls are mothers, invites visitors to plant the seedlings chosen by the women, document their transformation, and share the images with the moms through a prisoner-support app called Flikshop.

  • The Design Studio for Social Intervention (Boston, MA): The Design Studio for Social Intervention will create a “Social Emergency Response Center” with the intention of taking social emergencies that we presently face to help individuals pivot out of despair, rage, and hopelessness into collective, creative, and radical action. The House will be programmed as a space for activists, artists, and Third Ward residents to gather and activate in ways that feel useful and inspiring.

From healing spaces as a site for a holistic recreation center, to connecting with communities in other countries, the featured work highlights the critical role that artists play in shaping and framing socio-political issues while demonstrating their ties to various social justice movements and strategies.

Round 48 is organized by Ryan N. Dennis, Curator at Programs Director at Project Row Houses.


Eyakem Gulilat
Black Place-making, Informality and Imagination

  Mounds at St. Charles 2600 , Eyakem Gulilat 2018

Mounds at St. Charles 2600, Eyakem Gulilat 2018

On View: November 26, 2018-February 17, 2019
2521 Holman Street

The guiding framework for this project is rooted in Anthony Marcus Hunter’s belief that ‘… Black residents have long been city makers and a force for progressive change… and African American neighborhoods are creative places that are sustaining, affirming and pleasurable…’  Without forgetting internal and external problems, this photographic approach focuses on recording moments of beauty, imagination, and creativity as ways of Black place-making. The primary geographic focus for this project is the Northern Third Ward of Houston. 

This exhibition seeks to understand the narratives that shape and continue to inform the landscape vernacular of Third Ward. Many Researchers have indicated that stories create places; in return places enrich and evoke stories.  What type of stories do these spaces tell us about Third Ward? What are the stories these landscapes tell us about Third Ward? What do they tell us about Black place-making and African American communities?

Using photography as a tool for documentation to explore Black place-making practices which include vegetation, churches, and found objects that have shaped and become the embodiment and memory of Third Ward, these photographs are part of the exploration of Black place-making that contain metaphoric representations of a variety of different meanings.  As Researchers Vanclay, Higgins, and Blackshaw state in Making sense of place: Exploring concepts and expressions of place through different senses and lenses, “…In telling stories about our places, we create and recreate: confirm and re-confirm; affirm and re-affirm our connections to place.” As such these photographs are my attempt to remember the stories that forged Third Ward and depict the narrative that echoes through Northern Third Ward today. 

These images only stage the foundation for this ongoing project. In order to understand the ideology and the power in the narrative formation and construction of places, we need to learn from those that live and work in them. I am looking for participants who may collaborate through storytelling and portraiture and will gladly receive your input at eyakemg@gmail.com.

This exhibition is the culmination of Eyakem Gulilat’s research conducted as a recipient of the 2018 KGMCA-PRH Fellowship.


TréPhonos

TréPhonos is a collaborative art project featuring three themed payphones, three local Artists, three Artist Ambassadors, and 18 Third Ward residents. These phones feature the sounds of Third Ward through a series of audio experiences. By taking the nostalgic payphone and hacking them for a different kind of public connection, TréPhonos symbolize the heart of Third Ward.    

Project Row Houses invites people to engage with the phones, pick up the receiver, and push a number. Spend time listening to neighbors’ stories, hear original music from local artists, or be transported to places like Frenchy’s Chicken drive through. You can find these sculptural phones at 3 locations in Northern Third Ward: Wolf’s Pawn, S.H.A.P.E. Community Center, and Crumbville TX.       

Three Artists:

  • Jeanette Degollado; social sculpture, photographer, interdisciplinary

  • Julian Luna; sculpture

  • Matt Fries; social sculpture, engineer, programmer

Three Ambassadors:

  • Kofi Taharka; TréSankofa

  • Marc Furi; TréSonic

  • Sunny Smith; TréMixTape

Three Themed Payphones:

  • TréSonic

  • TréMixTape

  • Tré Sankofa

TréPhonos is supported by PRH’s Strategic Art Plan, an initiative generously funded by the Houston Endowment.

TrePhonos Map (2).png

Representative Image

The Personal as Political, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, 2018, Photo by Alex Barber