IT IS FORBIDDEN NOT TO PARTICIPATE is a symposium organized by Guest Curator Estrellita B. Brodsky in connection with the exhibition Julio Le Parc: Form into Action—the first comprehensive museum survey of Le Parc's work in the United States. Le Parc is a central figure to the history of participatory and kinetic art.
As a founding member of the artist collective Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel (GRAV)—an artist collective active in Paris from 1960 to 1968—Le Parc has long challenged the idea of the absolute, fixed work of art, favoring collaborative experimentation. His undertakings are closely related to GRAV’s collective attempts to create innovative situations that engage more diverse audiences. Inspired by Le Parc’s work and interests, this symposium focuses on contemporary collaborative and participatory practices that are parallel to GRAV’s politically charged initiatives.
Morning session | 10am-12pm
The morning session will include a presentation by Valerie Hillings, Curator and Manager, Curatorial Affairs, Abu Dhabi Project at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and author of the essay "'IT IS FORBIDDEN NOT TO PARTICIPATE': Le Parc and and Groupe De Recherche d'Art Visuel (1960-68)" published in the exhibition catalog Julio Le Parc: Form into Action. She will examine Le Parc’s participation with GRAV and how their collaborative projects challenged museum spaces and audiences. Artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer will also participate in this panel and discuss his interactive works as they relate to legacies of kinetic art, experiments in perception, surveillance and critical engagement.
Afternoon session | 2-4pm
The afternoon session will include a talk by Nato Thompson, Chief Curator for Creative time in New York and author of the recent book Culture As Weapon. Artist Andrea Bowers will discuss her recent projects involving histories of political representation and activism. This panel will focus on the aesthetics and politics of participation. Destabilization, play and engaging the body of the viewer are discussion points for this panel and connect to Le Parc's aim to link art to each viewer-participant's imagination and creative possibilities; how he has continually looked to increase the public's self-awareness through spontaneous playful actions.