Beginnings at the ICI…..
I began my path towards the ICI as an undergraduate student at Pomona College where I double majored in Art/Art History and Political Philosophy, and constantly worked to unite the two disciplines. My sophomore year I began curating at our student gallery and pulled together about 30 shows, most of which addressed local politics, such as the Coachella workers movement lead by Lideras Campesinas, a female laborer advocacy group. I later worked as a photographer and archivist at the Pomona College Museum of Art, and am currently a curatorial intern at the Santa Monica Museum of Art.
When I told my father that I got a curatorial fellowship at the ICI and that I would be aiding in the curation of a project with personal, political, and aesthetic significance he responded with the usual congratulations followed by a deluge of questions. What is the ICI? What are the group’s goals? How do you fit into their project? How are they not a museum, not a gallery, not quite a collective and not quite a cooperative? Are you lapsing back into your ill-advised romp with the anarchist syndicalists or is it communists this time? My father everyone. I answered the best I could while maneuvering the aura of well-fashioned mystique that permeates and sustains the ICI. I could tell that this was going to be a challenge. I was realizing that the ICI is quite different from the galleries I have run and the museums I have interned at. It has all the best characteristics of a studio practice, while dressing like a complex installation, publishing like a theorist, and carrying itself like a speaker at a protest.
Having now spent a few days in the library, talking with Lise, strategizing for our upcoming project, and constantly being sidetracked by the cultural ablution carefully tucked into every corner of the building, I am finding my bearings. Thus far I have found the ICI is an exercise in pulling together and reconciling the practical and theoretical questions of art, politics, and agency, and I am excited to engage it fully over the next few months.