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Project Row Houses Presents Round 48: Beyond Social Practice
Latest round investigates the storied connection between artists and activism within contemporary art
HOUSTON – Oct. 01, 2018 – Project Row Houses (PRH) will unveil Round 48: Beyond Social Practice on Saturday, October 13 at the Art Houses located at 2505 – 2517 Holman St. The latest Round brings together a group of artists deeply engaged in collaborative practices that speak to social issues related to identity, politics, and activism. In conjunction with the opening, PRH will host a family-friendly block party that spans its Third Ward site.
“Beyond Social Practice comes at a pivotal moment for our organization as we mark 25 years of engagement in the Historic Third Ward community,” said Eureka Gilkey, Executive Director of PRH. “The foundation of our organization is built on encouraging artists to extend their practice outside the studio into the social context. Round 48 will build upon our efforts to engage neighbors, artists, and enterprises in collective creative action and evidence new ways of bringing people together.”
Participating artists and collectives include Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Armina Mussa, Tia-Simone Gardner, Lisa Harris, Dawn Weleski, jackie sumell and The Design Studio for Social Intervention. The seven renowned artists and collectives from across the U.S. are socially-engaged artists whose work shapes and frames socio-political issues while demonstrating their ties to various social justice movements and strategies.
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 “Fragility—Death” uses various mediums such as sculpture, video, durational 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.
“Round 48: Beyond Social Practice builds on the thought-provoking and engaging dialogue from our recent Social Practice.Social Justice symposium, which focused on the creative actions around preservation and social practices in communities,” said Ryan N. Dennis, Curator and Programs Director of PRH. “The term ‘social practice’ is often broad and vaguely defined and we found it imperative to further fuel the conversation on how it’s defined, who defines it, and what it means for artists, collectives, and institutions. Round 48 explores the organic efforts that move beyond the name and elevate the spirit of socially-engaged art through their actions.”
For the opening on October 13, PRH will offer Artists’ Talks from noon to 2 p.m. as well as a block party, which continues the tradition of the community gathering to commemorate a new Round of installations. The Artists Talks will offer attendees the opportunity to hear from the artists about their individual practices and the inspiration behind their installation. The block party runs from noon to 7 p.m., and occupies the PRH site.
At the block party, guests can celebrate the Round 48 opening through a series of live performances from local artists Eimaral Sol, The Afroknotts, Marcus Ardoin and Da Zydeco Legendz, Marium Echo, Tim Woods, and Undergravity; family-friendly games and activities, including ZooMobile from the Houston Zoo; free Yoga with Letty classes; food and shopping for goods from local entrepreneurs. PRH’s block parties have a long and rich history for celebrating art and African-American history and culture.
There will be a health fair on-site with vendors speaking about and offering services on areas such as sickle cell, adult and childhood diabetes, HIV, spinal and mental health, and the need for minorities to donate blood. Legacy Community Health will be providing screenings for diabetes, blood pressure, BMI, pregnancy, HIV and syphilis, as well as giving educational presentations.
Round 48: Beyond Social Practice on display: Saturday, October 13, 2018 - Sunday, February 17, 2019
Open Wednesday – Sunday, 12 – 5 p.m.