The Portal

Access Intimacy in the Arts

Calling in Sick workshop at Project Row Houses (Houston, TX) on Sunday, May 22, 2016.

Co-presented by Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College and Abrons Arts Center. Co-organized by Krista Alba, Natasha Matteson, Bernardo Mosqueira, Georgie Payne, Allie / A.L. Rickard, and Candice Strongwater.

How can we nurture and create access intimacy in the arts?

Join MC and organizer Owólabi Aboyade, artist and curator Ezra Benus, and curator Taraneh Fazeli for a conversation on art, music, curatorial practices, and accessibility in the arts. Their conversation takes root from disability justice activist Mia Mingus’s concept of access intimacy: “…that elusive, hard to describe feeling when someone else ‘gets’ your access needs. The kind of eerie comfort that your disabled self feels with someone on a purely access level.” In addition to discussing how access intimacy can be nurtured and created in the arts, they will question who can, should, and must participate in this process. The participants have collaborated on past projects including Taraneh Fazeli’s exhibition Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time: Against Capitalism’s Temporal Bullying and bring their shared experiences and ongoing relationships to the conversation.

This program grew out of Access as Creative Methodology, a practice-based course organized by Cori Olinghouse in collaboration with artist Jordan Lord and Abrons Director of Programming Ali Rosa-Salas, and a cohort of CCS Bard ‘21 graduate students. Considering the ways in which access shapes the ground of practices of curating, gathering, and living, this initiative asks how our work fundamentally changes when we start with access, rather than treating it as an afterthought. Likewise, the group has focused on the ways in which many disabled artists utilize access to interfere with existing structures, standards, and status quos.