Open Call to Gulf South Artists for Works Reflecting Upon Art and Health
Curated by Dr. David Robinson-Morris
The CAC is pleased to invite contemporary visual artists living across the Gulf South region to submit to this year's open call for submissions. Contemporary visual artists who currently live and/or work in the Gulf South states of LA, TX, AL, MS, FL are eligible to apply. Eligible artists living in Louisiana are encouraged to apply.
Submissions are no longer being accepted.
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
The World Health Organization defines ‘health’ as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. And yet, the human condition is rife with moments of physical and metaphysical dis-ease, infirmities that seem to divert human beings from their paths of becoming. Often measured by the lack thereof, health more precisely is that spectrum of deviation from a mean that puts our well-being at greater or lesser risk. However, if the human body exists as a resource, reserve, and reservoir of well-being, then the concept of health lies well beyond the individual to encompass a community health, a site where governmental forces, collective, and individual agency orient the standards of who or what is healthy.
The very existence of a World Health Organization, tending to the well-being of a global population, evokes what Michel Foucault describes as ‘biopower,’ an intersection of government policy and human well-being that assumes power over individuals and populations to determine who lives and who dies, who thrives and who strives. Simply compare mortality rates to race, household income, and geography and the effects of social and government power over life becomes abundantly apparent. Health disparities in this sense are as much about comorbidity in a population as the acute use of government power to subject and control populations to an incomplete state of well-being.
Whether through catharsis or biopolitical resistance, art has long intertwined with health. Egon Schiele painted himself, his wife, and their unborn child, before all three succumbed to the Spanish Flu. AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) together with arts collective Gran Fury and Visual AIDS demanded national visibility and political action to fight AIDS, inextricably linking art, activism, and public health. As we face down another pandemic and confront the myriad health disparities that determine how we live and who will die, we seek artists who are thinking with and through their craft to make sense of our modern dis-ease, conceptions of health, and health as an apparatus of power and control.
In a spirit of exploration, the CAC presents an open call to artists living and/or working in the Gulf South, who through their work seek to make sense of health, wholeness, medicalization, the temporality of physical humanness, and what it means to be a human being under a medico-political gaze. More pointedly, we are seeking artwork across media from artists that explore health, healthcare, medicalized bodies, (dis)/ability, hospitals and hospitalization; health (in)equity and disparities, health policy and public health, indigenized health, sickness, grief, necropolitics, death, pain, trauma, mental health, patient as performativity, and health as transcorporeality.
This exhibition is organized and presented by the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans. In addition to the The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and The Andy Warhol Foundation, the Inter[SECTOR] series is supported by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project (with lead funding from Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew Mellon Foundation). Support for this exhibition is also provided by Sydney & Walda Besthoff, The Helis Foundation, and the Welch Family Foundation. This exhibition is also supported by the City of New Orleans through a Community Arts Grant, as well as by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council.