How do we learn? Is culture shaping our identity and how? What does our education look like from a distance and by comparison? What can we learn from each other by acknowledging our similarities and our differences? We do this in the setting of a museum, as we believe that learning spaces that are deemed free and accessible to many should be turned into schools or itinerant temples for human proximity, experience and connections. —Zoe Cinel, writing on behalf of CarryOn Homes
Three times a year, the Walker’s platform for Minnesota-based artists invites guest curators to design one-night, multidisciplinary events including installations, performances, films, conversations, and more. For the latest installment of Mn Artists Presents: [Your Name Here], CarryOn Homes, a group of five artists from five countries—Zoe Cinel, Preston Drum, Aki Shibata, Peng Wu, and Shun Jie Yong—proposed to reimagine the museum as an experimental classroom. As immigrants and transplants to Minnesota, who had experienced a variety of educational models before studying at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, they chose to curate projects that examine the forms that education can take, which sources of knowledge are considered legitimate, and how we might upend these hierarchies and find different ways to learn from each other.
The participating artists responded to these questions with projects including a lighting installation and dance performance by Valerie Oliveiro, an intergenerational collaboration with Hmong folk musicians led by poet and spoken word artist Tou SaiK Lee, a film by Pedram Baldari on the theme of art education, and a tour of the sculpture garden designed by artists Nooshin Hakim Javadi and Pedram Baldari and led by a live donkey.
CarryOn Homes invited writer, scholar, and fellow immigrant Christina Schmid to write a piece in tandem with the event, connecting this work to wider conversations about epistemology, pedagogy, and institutional critique.
Education, as a practice of sharing knowledge, is intimately entangled with these political, institutional, and philosophical concerns of knowledge production and distribution. Who is hailed as a potential knower, who as an object to be studied and known? What constitutes knowledge? Which histories churn underneath polite institutional veneers? Revealing the deep structures that give rise to how knowing, learning, and teaching unfold in a specific cultural context is central to CarryOn Homes’ curatorial vision.
Schmid draws on interlocutors like Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Sara Ahmed, Hito Steyerl, Fred Moten and Stefano Harney, and Alexis Pauline Gumbs to imagine how “reaching beyond the model of mastery, dominance, and subjection to authority while embracing the intimacy of listening may have profound consequences for ‘the beyond’ of teaching.”