A few weeks ago, contributors from Art Practical spent a whirlwind weekend in Kansas City studios and art spaces. The resulting issue of AP highlights and offers insight into some of the more risk-taking practices going on in the area, including Rocket Grant projects like “You Live Here Too”, “Haven”, and the controversy surrounding Amber Hansen’s “the Story of Chickens”. There is something very satisfying about seeing this portrait of a moment in Kansas City’s scene, and from a (mostly) outside perspective. Its intriguing to consider the themes that became prominent: collaboration, experimentation, social awareness.
AP prefaced their issue dedicated to KC with the caveat that their experience was a snapshot…a quick, curated first impression. In an effort to round out this perspective, they directly recruited local contributions to the issue – not just in articles solicited for features and their open call for “shotgun” reviews, but also in faciliting conversations and interviews that were served up as content for the magazine as well.
In giving the locals forums in which to contribute, whether in the issue itself or the dialogues that contributed to it, I feel like AP’s visit had its most significant impact. There is a certain eagerness for this kind of discourse in our community, and much to be learned from our visitors’ methods. Most notably, perhaps, the sheer ambition and vision of Patricia Maloney, who brought AP to life via Alternative Exposure, the Andy Warhol Foundation Funded Rocket Grant sister program in San Francisco. It does take a focused, thoughtful effort to make things like this happen. And collaborators.
I wonder, Kansas City, how we will create our own forums, venues, and outlets for these kinds of conversations in the future. With the much discussed dissolution of Review and few other options, where is the place for critical dialogue within our community? I hope there are those who feel inspired by this interaction with AP and are looking to their model for insight. What are your thoughts? How do we keep KC talking?