Of Hospitality, a symposium

May 4-5, 2012
Smart Museum of Art & Logan Center for the Arts, University of Chicago
Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, University of Illinois at Chicago

"Of Hospitality, a symposium"

            “Let us say yes to who or what turns up…”

—Jacques Derrida, Of Hospitality

Using the Smart Museum’s exhibition Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art and Jacques Derrida’s text “Of Hospitality” as points of departure, this symposium combines presentation, discussion, artists’ projects, shared meals, and a keynote address by critic and theorist Jan Verwoert.

Friday, May 4, 2012, 5.30–8.30pm, at the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum(Registration for this portion of the event is full.)

Drawing on Jane Addams’ legacy of progressive activism and her commitment to hospitality at Hull-House, this communal dinner is complemented by intimate conversation in Hull-House spaces where social reformers met to share meals and ideas.  Dinner and discussion are curated in collaboration with chef Tara Lane and Lisa Lee, Hull-House Museum director.

Saturday, May 5, 10am–5:30pm, with reception to follow, at the Logan Center for the Arts, University of ChicagoWhat does it mean to practice “hospitality” within the realm of art and culture? How might cultural institutions enact hospitality as a creative, ethical, meaningful activity—one that gets beyond the rote pragmatism of the paid greeter who asks “how can I help you” but really means “what can I sell you”? What’s at stake when cultural practitioners and institutions embrace hospitality as a theoretical framework or day-to-day activity? What stands to be gained, and what might be lost? Dig into these questions during a day of discussion, presentations, performances, and meals including Radical Hospitality One Pot at A Time, a reception created by Soup and Bread, Chicago.

Featured artists’ projects include:

The Greeting Committee by Ana Prvacki; world premiere of The Identical Lunch Symphony by Alison Knowles; Enemy Kitchen (Food Truck), by Michael Rakowitz; “E-Dogz” Mobile Culinary Community Center by Eric May; and Neighborhood Infusions by Fallen Fruit.

Presentations and discussions include:

Feeling Welcome: opening remarks by Stephanie Smith, Smart Museum of Art

Radical Domestic:reflections on hospitality, criticality, and the meal as they intersect with the idea of the domestic.

Participants include: Hannah B. Higgins, University of Illinois at Chicago; Erika Dudley, University of Chicago; and Amy M. Mooney, Columbia College, Chicago; and response by MFA student Anais Daly

Being Bad:questioning the line between hospitality and hostility. When is it useful to be a “bad” host or guest?

Participants include:  Matthew Jesse Jackson, University of Chicago; artist Ana Prvacki, Los Angeles; artist Michael Rakowitz, Northwestern University, Chicago; artist Laura Letinsky, University of Chicago; Responses from Dieter Roelstraete, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and MFA student David Giordano

Practicing Hospitality:manifestos and discussion about if, why, and how hospitality matters within our work.

Presenters include Edward Marszewski, Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar, Chicago; Charles Esche, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; Abigail Satinsky, InCUBATE and threewalls, Chicago. Discussion facilitated by Michael Christiano, Smart Museum of Art.

To All Those Who Set the Stage: keynote lecture by theorist and critic Jan Verwoert, with responses by Zachary Cahill of the Open Practice Committee, and MFA student Cassandra Troyan

To close the conference, Anthony Huberman of The Artist’s Institute in New York, will give a toast.

Presented with the Smart Museum of Art, Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry, and the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum.