Empathy Academy: Social Practice and the Problem of Objects

Exhibition Website

Jan 14 2017 - Jul 30 2017

This exhibition is a follow-up to the 2016 CCA Biennial that, by focusing on art and empathy, looked at feeling as form. Instead of displaying a finished project, Empathy Academy will function more as a laboratory, in which process is privileged. 

Through the analysis and exhibition of objects and a team-based development of a sequence of interventions, students will conduct an investigation toward the creation of a meaningful and forward-looking interface between critical practices and institutional collecting. 

Intending to lead to emergent, social forms of contemporary art, the exhibition will include Rirkrit Tiravanija’s 84-foot long print, Untitled 2008–11 (the map of the land of feeling) I–III, one of the few objects the artist—known for being among the first to practice so-called relational art—has produced. Identified with projects that combine daily life and creative practice, he has cooked meals for exhibitions around the world, representing his fundamental interest in bringing people together. Martha Rosler’s 1975 video work, Semiotics of the Kitchen, a great influence on Tiravanija’s practice, will be screened. 

Ernesto Neto is also known for the construction of social space in his work. In immersive sculptural installations he invites viewers into an all-encompassing sensorial experience. Neto’s wall-size “drawing” Colors, Cultures, Knots, and Time illustrates global connectivity, engendering empathy for the other. 

Matthew “Levee” Chavez harnesses the power of communication as he invites people to write their thoughts, reactions, and hopes in this anxious time. A continuation of his Subway Therapy installation, where thousands of sticky notes were left at Union Square Station in New York City, will be part of Empathy Academy

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.

  • Contemporary
  • Ernesto Neto
  • Martha Rosler
  • Mathew "Levee" Chavez
  • Rirkrit Tiravanija

Exhibition Venues & Dates