Good art should make us think. It should help us come together in new ways to discuss as a body. And if this author's perfectly timed stop-over in Grand Rapids, sandwiched interestingly between Berlin, Montreal, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, arrives as scheduled in a an equally perfect venue and topic, then we are in for something remarkable while he engages with our audience.
For starters, Max Haiven, a writer, organizer, and an assistant professor in the division of art history and critical studies at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, has focused his doctoral studies on the financialization of our society and culture over the past forty years and arrives here on the heels of our biggest money-generating event, ArtPrize.
There are two opportunities to hear him speak while he is in the area.
On Tuesday, Oct. 21 at 3 p.m. he will address the topic of art, creativity and capitalism at the Kendall College of Art Federal Galleries – the very same location where the very topical "I Am, Money Matters” exhibition is being hosted.
Later, at 6:30 p.m Haiven will migrate to engage the audience around the topic of the enclosures of creativity at downtown Grand Rapids' UICA – a space that has for decades been at the center of our city's foray into art and cultural discussions.
While Haiven has been widely published, his latest round of touring around the world is to support his latest book, Crises of Imagination, Crises of Power (2014).
"I find that Haiven's work adds important new insight into many of the difficult problems that have been encountered in the (local) research engaged by the Office for Public Culture (OPC),' says Paul Wittenbraker, GVSU professor of art and design who founded the OPC. "In particular it treats culture as fully political. It also advocates for the strengthening of the 'public' or what he calls the ‘commons.'"
Haiven's work is rooted in sharp critical analysis, often cutting through the feelings of hopelessness and futility to advocate for more engagement. His ideas promote a clearing of the blockages, allowing new ideas to flow, imagination and creativity to thrive, and alternate ways of living to be considered.
This is an event being purposefully held in multiple locations downtown at a host of times to provide greater access to a wide range of participants, including artists, creatives, activists, and entrepreneurs of our city.
Haiven's appearance here is made possible through the collaboration of educational and arts organizations, including Grand Valley State University’s Office for Public Culture, the Kendall College of Art Federal Galleries, and UICA.