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Laura Swanson
Another Country

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2007
Mobile Aesthetics and Social Movements: Workshop, Worth-Ryder Gallery

11 – 1 p.m. Polycentric Session, UC-Berkeley, Townsend Center for the Humanities
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"Another Country" was informed by another project I organized last year called "The Diversity Project". The project's intention was to invite artists to redefine diversity through their work. I found afterwards that several artists expressed regret of not being "diverse enough" to participate. What constitutes being "diverse enough"? That one has to non-white? That one has to have experienced something bad based on their appearance? I believe that artists have enough heart and imagination to consider the limitations of personal identity and broaden their perspective in order to speak about another’s experience. "Another Country" invites artists to deconstruct the social reality of "diversity" in identity politics – to remove the invisible boundaries that prevent one from connecting with another.

Featured Artists: Andrew McClintock, Beate Rathke, Daniel Farnum, David Yun, Dean Dempsey, Donna J. Wan, Grant Ernhart, Jeremiah Jenkins, Kyle Sharp, Laura Boles Faw, Mi Ran Yu, Nuno Ramalho, Robert Burden

Participant's Bio:

Laura Swanson is an artist and social activist who lives and works in San Francisco. She was one of nine children raised in a suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Naturally, she thinks an accurate metaphor to describe such an upbringing would be a composite of the films "The Sound of Music", "Swiss Family Robinson", and "The Royal Tenenbaums". Her work as an artist investigates the peculiarities and absurdity of human behavior – especially when one is confronted with things they cannot easily situate. As a social activist, she looks to James Baldwin’s work as a model: by encouraging artists to make confessions – to find and examine the connections to other lives through art and conversation.