My Place, or Yours?

Curated by Cara Hagen

April 5th - June 29th
Reception + Performance 6 - 8pm April 5th

Organized by Anna Helgeson

Participating artists include:
Sarah Gonzales (USA/AZ) and Mary Ellen Lough (USA/local/performer)
Colleen Fitzgerald (Argentina) and Sonia Arellano (USA/FL)
Jody Cassell (USA/NC) and Anushka Peres (USA/AZ)
Celia Weiss Bambara (USA/local/performer), Aminata Traore (Ivory Coast), Natalie St. Martin (S. Korea)
Jo Moser (USA/local/performer) and Cinthia Perez (Mexico)
Elizabeth Meade (USA/local/possible performer) and Julie Lariosa (Madagascar)
Cynthia Ling Lee (USA/CA) and Jessica Green (USA/local)
Caldwell Linker (USA/PA) and Frances Sedayao (USA/CA)
Ekua Edisa (USA/CA) and Kate Morales (USA/CA)
Adela C. Licona (USA/AZ) and Cara Hagan (USA/NC)


Statement from the Curator
My Place, or Yours? is an exploration into the politics and practice of collaborative work. The artists in this exhibition have all arrived here with the goal of making work together, from a distance. More specifically, the majority of the participants here have embarked on a journey through the philosophy and practice of “Artistic Surrogacy.” 

 Artistic Surrogacy is a method of sharing artistic concepts through performances, presentations, experiences, and objects which are shared, in that one person’s (or several persons) ideas are placed in the hands of another (or a group) to be executed with care in the absence of the originator (s). While choreography is like this - where dancers are the vessel of the choreographer - artistic surrogacy is different, in that the work can take place between people of different training, different artistic genres, even. The goal of artistic surrogacy is to find creative ways of embodying and bringing to life ideas shared, with respect to differences in demographic, culture, training, geography, and lived experience of the collaborators. In essence, artistic surrogacy is a way of transmitting ideas across borders, across bodies, in ways that uphold the core values of the work, while leaving room for translational growth.

 At its core, Artistic Surrogacy is about access. Who has access to institutional spaces? Who has access to the capital necessary to create work? Who has access to the cultural capital it takes to be recognized in the art world? How can artists subvert the impact of institutional bias, geographical isolation, sexism, racism, ableism, geopolitics, distorted societal beliefs about value, economic imbalance, and a deteriorating environment due to ground and air travel, through their pursuits? Through their collaborations, female-identified and non-gender conforming brown, black, and white artists from various socio-economic backgrounds, who are inventors, storytellers, magic-makers, caretakers, scholars, chronically ill, disabled, able-bodied, formally and informally educated, institutionally recognized and unrecognized, traveled and untraveled, from our region, from across the United States, and the world, make the experience of the arts more democratic for themselves and their audiences.

Cara Hagan

Cara Hagan

About the Curator
Cara Hagan
 is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice is informed by movement, words, digital space, contemplative practice, and community. Ms. Hagan has the pleasure of sharing her artistic pursuits across the United States and abroad. Most recently, Cara has set choreographic works on students at the UNC School of the Arts, Roehampton University in London, Gonzaga University, and on professional dancers at the Dance Barn Festival in Battle Lake, MN. Her recent guest residencies have included Thirak India in Jaipur, India, Roehpampton University in London, James Madison University, and at UC Boulder, where she was a guest artist as part of the 2017 U.N. {W.R.A.P} Series. Further, Cara has made recent performance appearances at the Performática Festival in Puebla, Mexico, at Three House Arts in Durham through the Durham Independent Dance Artists, the Asheville WordFest, the On Site/In Sight Dance Festival, and the Scottish Conference on Geopoetics in Edinburgh.  Cara presents her research regularly at universities, festivals and conferences around the world. A regular presenter at the National Women's Studies Association annual conference, she served as co-Chair for the Women of Color Leadership Project pre-conference sessions from 2016-2018. Her work on screendance has most recently been presented at the Loikka Dance Film Festival/Future Screens of Dance Conference in Helsinki, Finland, at DeMontfort University in Leicester, UK, and at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. A recipient of several awards, Cara's film Sound and Sole was awarded the "Best Southern States Documentary" at the 2018 Southern States Indie Fan Film Fest. She was most recently honored by the Governor of North Carolina and the NC African American Heritage Commission for her work as an African American artist in North Carolina and beyond. Other awards include a 2014-2015 NCAC Choreographic Fellowship Award, a 2015 Sustainability in the Arts Grant and a 2015-2016 University Research Council Grant. Ms. Hagan serves on the dance studies faculty at Appalachian State University, as well as serving as director and curator for ADF's Movies By Movers, an annual, international dance film festival under the auspices of the American Dance Festival. Cara's scholarly and creative work can be found in various publications, including the Snapdragon Journal of Art and Healing, Collective terrain, Quill and Parchment, Headwaters Journal of Expressive Arts, the International Journal of Screendance, and in the book, Dance's Duet with the Camera: Motion Pictures, edited by Telory D. Arendell and Ruth Barnes. Currently Cara is under contract to complete her first solo authored book through McFarland Publishing.