Most Things Happen When I Am Asleep is an international exhibition bringing together the work of La Agencia from Colombia, Beta-Local from Puerto Rico, Alice Yard from Trinidad and Tobago, TEOR/ética from Costa Rica, and Cemeti Institute for Art and Society from Indonesia to Artspace NZ.
The exhibition showcases work from these places as well as offering modest proposals on how institutes can evolve, develop and constantly change, actively connecting Aotearoa to the geography and social urgencies of Indonesia, Costa Rica, Colombia, Puerto Rico and Trinidad and Tobago.
As an internal exercise on the institutional workings of Artspace NZ itself, Most Things Happen When I Am Asleep publicises the work of other ‘artspaces’, visualising printed and pasted material in the space along with artist proposals, manifestos, moving image work, flyers, and books, arguing that the institute can be understood through artistic work and vice versa. The different knowledges that both artists and institutional bodies produce are blended together to propose three loose themes through which to understand institutionality.
The knowledges produced mean to challenge definitions of ‘institutes’ and ‘grassroots’, and other such categories, diverting attention from ideas like ‘the source’ and ‘authenticity’ to instead focus on flexible and open use. What emerges are liquid methods that produce work by navigating weather, fast changing political realities, education, and life’s necessities.
Alice Yard is the backyard space of a house at 80 Roberts Street, Woodbrook, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. It was once the house of Alice Yard co-founder Sean Leonard’s great-grandmother. Four generations of children played and imagined in this yard, and now we continue this tradition. Alice Yard is a space for creative experiment, collaboration, and improvisation.Alice Yard is administered and curated by architect Sean Leonard, artist Christopher Cozier, and writer and editor Nicholas Laughlin, with the help of a growing network of creative collabo-rators. Alice Yard is a non-profit organisation incorporated under the laws of Trinidad and Tobago. Since 2008, Alice Yard has run a residency programme hosting artists, curators, and other creative practitioners.
Beta-Local is a non-profit organization in San Juan, Puerto Rico dedicated to supporting and promoting aesthetic thought and prac-tices through various programs including La Práctica, The Harbour, and La Ivan Illich.
Cemeti–Institute for Art and Society is the oldest platform for contemporary art in Indonesia, founded in 1988 by artists Mella Jaarsma and Nindityo Adipurnomo. In January 2017, Cemeti’s 30thyear, the founders stepped aside, handing the organization over to a new team. Cemeti changed its name from Cemeti Art House to Cemeti–Institute for Art and Society. The new subtitle takes as a starting point the idea of “instituting” as a collective social process in which we find forms for shared urgencies, whilst “art and society” is meant to express the organisation’s socially useful focus.
Laagencia is an office for art projects that nurtures the research and processes of art+education. Laagencia stimulates debate about artistic and institutional t practices, experimenting with and proposing different strategies and methodologies, intelligences and alternative ways of doing with others.
TEOR/éTica is an independent, private, non-profit, located in San José, Costa Rica. Both its name and its raison d’etre imply theory, aesthetics and ethics. Throughout the years, TEOR/éTica has been consolidated as one of the most dynamic and propositive cultural projects in Latin America. It is internationally renowned for its role in the development of artistic practices in Central America, and for propitiating new ways of thinking and thinking ourselves from a critical stance.