Practice International is an initiative of Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory (Utrecht), Iaspis (Stockholm), and Iniva-the Institute of International Visual Arts (London), three European arts organizations that are concerned with internationalism, collaborating with non-European institutions such as the Raw Material Company (Dakar). The project aims to reflect on our positions as artists, curators, and institutions, to think how we can embody and meet new forms of practice involving agents of social change, introduce new terms into the discourse, and question institutional habits. Here, collaborating artists will play the role of hosts, conversation partners, and provocateurs, as well as document proceedings and produce new work. A period of public and non-public research including workshops, seminars, and field trips will be followed by exhibitions and varied publishing outputs.
Practice International collaborates with a range of artists who establish structures and invent methods to make work, radicalize their immediate locality, and connect internationally. Such practices challenge the idea of the contemporary artist as an “international subject”, easily able to represent and translate culture for a global audience, which has come to replace earlier strategies of postcolonial discourse. While the examples we have chosen might be particular to a place and set of relations, they nevertheless create an international axis. A poetic connection, say, that links a house, enclave, or courtyard to the wider world, or a set of shared concerns over gentrification, feminism, ecology, or colonial legacy, which can establish solidarity with an “elsewhere”. The project also considers a continuity of practice, looking at case studies from the past such as the Mondrian Fan Club invented by artists David Medalla and Adam Nankervis, the Senegalese collective Laboratoire Agit/Art through the work of artist Issa Samb, and the cosmopolitan projects of Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore.