The artist Tania Bruguera coined the term “artivism” to describe her art practice. To Bruguera, “artivism” is defined as the oscillation between the poles of art and activism, testing the lines set by the two in the process. Because of its transient and malleable definition, “artivism” can be broadly activated across many disciplines, taking on many different meanings. But in its plasticity, the term also raises complicated questions: at what point does art fall away to reveal only activism, and when can we consider art completely separate from actual change?
While Bruguera’s practice has been shaped by the pushing of the boundaries between creativity and political mobilization, she is far from the only artist that wrestles with these ideas. This gallery seeks to highlight young artists working today who engage with our complex world in creative and unique ways. Across the curated work shown in this gallery, the artists and designers display a great breadth of how artivism can be interpreted, differently engaging with and straddling the line between art and activism. As with the rest of the CUNY Summit, this show aims to inspire, mobilize, and activate us to recognize the possibilities that come with pursuing change and resolution.
"Artivism!" was curated by Victoria Reshetnikov and held at the CUNY Summit for Peace & Justice at Macaulay Honors College, March 31st-April 2nd, 2023. The CUNY Summit was organized by Rene Yaroshevsky and Macaulay Peace Action. Photographic documentation courtesy of Adela Schwartz.
Artists: Mac Jackson, Carlos Sánchez-Tatá, Jorja Garcia, Meinzer, Isai Soto, Cecilia Loeber, Alison Siegel, Randa Elsayed, Cathleen Luo, Moselle Douff, Marco LeMair, Danielle Sung, Lauren Lee, Spencer Klink, Forest Wong, Hart Hallos, Debbie Ali