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ARTIST RESPONSE
Press Press
The Well / SMFA
Remis Sculpture Court / Aidekman

Kimi Hanauer Calling All Denizens The Well and Exterior Billboard, SMFA Campus
Press Press Sanctuary is on the Horizon Remis Sculpture Court, Aidekman Art Center, Medford/Somerville Campus

Cross-campus installations by the artist collective Press Press and the collective’s founding organizer Kimi Hanauer will address concepts of sanctuary and citizenship through collaborative publishing.

Press Press (based in Baltimore, Maryland, and Los Angeles, California) and its core organizers Valentina Canbezas, Kimi Hanauer, Bomin Jeon, and Bilphena Yahwon aims to shift and deepen understanding of voices, identities, and narratives that have been suppressed or misrepresented by the mainstream press, and to build networks of relationships through publishing practices centered on self-representation and gathering. Thus far, its publications have focused on immigration and race in the United States. Through an understanding of publishing as the act of gathering a public, Press Press’s streams of work include public cultural programming, an open-access publishing studio based on an exchange economy, youth publishing workshops in an immigrant- and refugee-only space, and the ongoing production of print and digital publications.

Sanctuary is on the Horizon is based on “Manifesto for Sanctuary-Building and Sanctuary-Keeping,” a collaboratively-built manifesto Press Press has created with immigrants and immigrant-adjacent people through workshops in Baltimore, New York City, and Chicago, which highlights various visions of sanctuary and proposes strategies for creating and protecting those visions by affirming the expertise of immigrants and immigrant-adjacent people. Guided by three central questions—What is sanctuary? How can sanctuary be created? How can sanctuary be protected?—this project explores the multiplicity of meanings of the word “sanctuary” and asks viewers to consider if and how sanctuary has manifested in their own communities. For their installation in the Remis Sculpture Court in the Aidekman Arts Center, posters and banners will line the walls with statements from their collaborative manifesto on sanctuary along with a reading room with selected works from their publishing practice. Members of the group will host a workshop in the space on November 8th where participants can contribute new entries to the evolving text.

Kimi Hanauer’s Calling All Denizens, a large-scale public billboard on the exterior of the SMFA Courtyard and in the Well Space, considers alternative conceptions of citizenship through an ongoing participatory research process. Launched as part of the Counterpublic public art triennial in St Louis in 2019, the project facilitates conversations, workshops, and programs that aim to cooperatively imagine the new political practice of denizenship as an alternative to the notion of citizenship. “Denizen” has historically been used in reference to foreign residents who are granted limited rights in the states in which they reside. Building on this historical meaning, Calling All Denizens partners with individuals and organizations to explore the notions of “from within” and “from without” as they pertain to the nuances of citizenship, sovereignty, migration, exile, and diasporas. In response to a history of race-based exclusion to citizenship and processes of identity-erasing assimilation in the United States, Calling All Denizens aims to give rise to a more compassionate, ethical, and genuine vision of a liberated society that holds its denizens dear. A publication produced as part of the original iteration will be available in the SMFA Well Space, and the Tufts University community is invited to participate in the project by contributing their ideas to the notion of the denizen through recorded conversations with the artist. The conversations will be archived online and publicly available.

Press Press and Kimi Hanauer’s exhibitions are presented as part of Artist Response series. Artist Response is an ongoing exhibition initiative that puts historical and contemporary artists’ projects in dialogue with social crises. Utilizing a range of critical and creative strategies, these works speak to a historical continuum of how artists reflect and resist their social moments. Organized by Abigail Satinsky, curator. 

In Medford, their installation will be associated with the group exhibition Bookworks.

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