No matter the intentions: On equity in the arts is a space to understand how artists create systems of mutual support and strategic criticality in the ongoing struggle for equity; against the backdrop of institutional critique.
Underlying No matter the intentions is a critique of arts institutions and organizations engaging concerns of inclusivity, equity and diversity in their programming, staffing, organization and funding strategies from the perspective of artists and arts workers whom are the target for those strategies. Lining two walls of Adobe Backroom Gallery are provocations that make up a non-comprehensive treatise collecting years of informal and formal dialogues with a dynamic community of artists and arts practitioners of color based on their interactions and experiences with major art institutions, alternative spaces, arts publications, funders, academic institutions, curators, critics, and residencies.
These statements are not exhaustive nor complete; they are not meant to be a guideline nor a list of steps to be followed. No matter the intentions is a reflexive framework in which to begin a conversation amongst artists and arts workers who negotiate the day-to-day challenges of working within systems founded on white supremacy and inequity. This exhibition interrogates often well-intended approaches to inclusivity that, more often than not recreate the very systems of bias being fought. How do artists and arts workers of color negotiate the complex space of good intentions, systemic bias, and an art world that wasn’t built to include them?
Separating these statements is a space where visitors may participate in the conversation by offering feedback or responding to prompts to further and expand this dialog. The statements evolved from a network of communication, sharing, struggle and community-building and we hope that visitors will join our dialogic network by responding with their own experiences, critique and strategies.