7 Stories Up at SNFL, Author Talks: Laura Raicovich with Chi-hui Yang: Culture Strike: Art and Museums in an Age of Protest

Date and Time
Thursday, June 6, 2024, 6:30 - 7:30 PM
End times are approximate. Events may end early or late.

Location

Tickets available for In Person
Event Details

Curator and author Laura Raicovich joins us to discuss her book, Culture Strike: Art and Museums in an Age of Protest with Chi-hui Yang.

This event will take place in person at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library on the 7th Floor.

In an age of protest, cultural institutions have come under fire. Protestors have mobilized against sources of museum funding, as happened at the Metropolitan Museum, and against board appointments, forcing tear gas manufacturer Warren Kanders to resign at the Whitney. That is to say nothing of demonstrations against exhibitions and artworks. Protests have roiled institutions across the world, from the Abu Dhabi Guggenheim to the Akron Art Museum. A popular expectation has grown that galleries and museums should work for social change.

As Director of the Queens Museum, Laura Raicovich helped turn that New York municipal institution into a public commons for art and activism, organizing high-powered exhibitions that doubled as political protests. Then in January 2018, she resigned, after a dispute with the Queens Museum board and city officials. This public controversy followed the museum’s responses to Donald Trump’s election, including her objections to the Israeli government using the museum for an event featuring Vice President Mike Pence.

In this lucid and accessible book, Raicovich examines some of the key museum flashpoints and provides historical context for the current controversies. She shows how art museums arose as colonial institutions bearing an ideology of neutrality that masks their role in upholding conservative, capitalist values. And she suggests ways museums can be reinvented to serve better, public ends.

At this event, Raicovich will discuss her new book. 

To join the event in person | Doors will open 30 minutes before the program begins. For free events, we generally overbook to ensure a full house. Priority will be given to those who have registered in advance, but registration does not guarantee admission. All registered seats are released shortly before start time, and seats may become available at that time. A standby line will form 30 minutes before the program.


ABOUT THE SPEAKERS

Laura Raicovich is a New York City-based writer and curator. Her recent book, Culture Strike: Art and Museums in an Age of Protest, was published in 2021 by Verso Books and is being translated into Arabic, Portuguese, and Italian. She is editor and curator of Protodispatch, a digital publication featuring artists’ takes on the local and global conditions that make their work necessary; she initiated the forum with Mari Spirito and Protocinema in 2022. In 2020, Raicovich became a co-founder of Urban Front, a transcontinental consultancy addressing the challenges facing cities through a progressive cultural and transdisciplinary lens. With a collective of artists, musicians, and culture workers, Raicovich recently opened The Francis Kite Club, a bar/cultural/activist space in NYC’s East Village. She is also working on a new book project as well as a podcast series titled Cultural Counterpower, produced by Politics in Motion. While Director of the Queens Museum from 2015 to 2018, Raicovich co-curated Mel Chin: All Over the Place (2018), a multi-borough survey of the artist's work that filled the entire museum. Raicovich then served as Interim Director of the Leslie Lohman Museum of Art; was a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow at the Bellagio Center; and was awarded the inaugural Emily H. Tremaine Journalism Fellowship for Curators at Hyperallergic. Previously, she held positions at Creative Time, Dia Art Foundation, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and Public Art Fund. Raicovich is the author of At the Lightning Field (CHP 2017) and A Diary of Mysterious Difficulties (Publication Studio 2014); she is co-editor of Assuming Boycott: Resistance, Agency, and Cultural Production (OR 2017) and Studies into Darkness: The Perils and Promise of Freedom of Speech (Amherst Press 2022). She lectures internationally.

Chi-hui Yang is the director of Ford Foundation's Creativity and Free Expression team, which makes grants in arts, documentary film and journalism. Previously, he was a Senior Program Officer in documentary film, new media, and visual storytelling for the foundation’s JustFilms program. Chi-hui has worked extensively as a film curator, including as a selection committee member for MoMA’s Doc Fortnight and consulting series producer for PBS’s POV. Among his independently curated programs are the 2008 Flaherty Film Seminar “The Age of Migration” and the film series and symposium “Lines and Modes: Media, Infrastructure, and Aesthetics.” From 2000 to 2010, he was director of the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, the largest event of its kind in the nation. Chi-hui has served as an adjunct professor in Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and Hunter College’s Asian American Studies Program. Chi-hui earned a master’s degree in film studies from San Francisco State University and a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Stanford University. He is a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.


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ACCESSIBILITY NOTES

In-Person

  • Assistive listening devices and/or hearing loops are available at the venue.
  • You can request a free ASL (American Sign Language) interpretation or CART (Communication Access Real-Time Translation) captioning service by emailing your request at least two weeks in advance of the event: email accessibility@nypl.org or use this Gmail template.
  • This venue is fully accessible to wheelchairs.

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All programs are subject to change or cancellation. 

 

The 7 Stories Up Series at SNFL is made possible by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).