Art & Activism:
Repossessing History
Time: 11:30 am - 1 pm
Speaker: Gregory Sholette
Gregory Sholette:

“After the statues come down what happens next? Histories that disturb the present.”

The current “monument wars” are only the latest manifestation of a decades-old debate about how to represent our troubled, often violent past in public space. One possible answer to this social and artistic problem comes from the artists’ collective REPOhistory who, between 1989 and 2000, installed dozens of temporary, metal street signs in NYC and Atlanta in order to “repossess” and “remap” the unknown histories of working
women, men and children; LGBTQ and Native peoples; African Americans; Latinos, Asian Americans and the disabled among other marginalized groups typically absent from public memory (see Holland Cotter’s recent commentary in the New York Times Half-Measures Won’t Erase the Painful Past of Our Monuments). Dr. Sholette will discuss REPOhistory’s projects, as well as current conflicts involving historical representation in public spaces.
Dr. Gregory Sholette is a founding member of REPOhistory, as well as a professor of art at Queens College, City University of New York whose wide-ranging art, activist, teaching and writing practice develops a self-described “viable, democratic, counter-narrative that, bit-by-bit, gains descriptive power within the larger public discourse.” In dozens of essays, four edited volumes, and his own two books including Art as Social Action (with Chloë Bass, 2018, forthcoming from Skyhorse Publishers); Delirium & Resistance: Art Activism & the Crisis of Capitalism (2017) and Dark Matter: Art and Politics in an Age of Enterprise Culture (2011, both Pluto Press), Sholette documents and reflects upon decades of
activist art, much of which might otherwise remain invisible. A co-director of Social Practice Queens at Queens College CUNY, he holds a PhD from the University of Amsterdam, a BFA from The Cooper Union, MFA from the University of California, San Diego, and is a graduate of the The Whitney Independent Studies Program in Critical Theory.