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Dismantling the Architectures of Liberalism

Thu, Dec 1, 2022    12pm

A conversation on and beyond Art after Liberalism with Nicholas Gamso, Nitasha Dhillon, and Amin Husain.

This lecture will be presented virtually on Zoom. Please register in advance via this link

Join Nicholas Gamso, Nitasha Dhillon, and Amin Husain as they continue the conversation “Reorienting towards Each Other”—which began in the final pages of Art after Liberalism—about political strategy and creative practice.

When the three first spoke they discussed how liberal conceptions of freedom and public life mask state violence and sanction colonial land use. Here they will expand the conversation to address the cultures of architecture and of higher education, drawing on actions that Husain and Dhillon have initiated as the facilitators of Decolonize this Place (DTP).

Since 2016, DTP has led mass protests—along with workshops and performances—at the Whitney Museum, MoMA, and the American Museum of Natural History, as well as demonstrations against NYPD presence in the Bronx and on the New York City subway system. In the Spring of 2022, DTP rallied with striking Columbia University graduate students to demand a living wage and basic labor protections, as well as to acknowledge the university’s role in gentrifying Harlem.

This conversation is part of an ongoing effort to spotlight abolitionist practices on the margins of art and architectural institutions, and to ask how these practices can be marshaled toward a just, de-colonial future.

Art after Liberalism, a study of contemporary art and political geography, was authored by Nicholas Gamso and published by Columbia Books on Architecture and the City in March 2022.

Nicholas Gamso writes and teaches about visual culture and the politics of place, with specializations in photography, documentary, and participatory public art interventions. He has written essays and reviews for Afterimage, ASAP/Journal, Social Text, Texte zur Kunst, Third Text, X-TRA, Avery Review, Log (special issue: “Working Queer”). Nick is the co-editor of World Records, vol. 4: “In the Presence of Others”; and a contributing editor of the Millennium Film Journal. He holds a PhD from the CUNY Graduate Center and was a Visiting Arts Fellow at Stanford University. Nick taught in the Visual Studies program at the Pratt Institute and the Art Place & Public Studies and Film Studies programs at the San Francisco Art Institute.

Nitasha Dhillon and Amin Husain, are MTL, a collaboration that joins research, aesthetics, organizing and action in practice. Nitasha Dhillon and Amin Husain are co-founders of Anemones and Tidal: Occupy Theory, Occupy Strategy, both movement-generated theory magazines; Global Ultra Luxury Faction, known as the direct-action wing of Gulf Labor Coalition; Direct Action Front for Palestine; and, most recently, Decolonize This Place, an action-oriented movement and decolonial formation in New York City and beyond. MTL has published in Alternet, Creative Time Reports, eflux, Hyperallergic, Jadaliyya, and October Magazine. Currently they are directing and producing Unsettling, an experimental documentary film about land, life and liberation in occupied Palestine.