Common Love,
Aesthetics of Becoming
April 27–June 11, 2011

Common Love, Aesthetics of Becoming draws its inspiration from Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri's 2009 book Commonwealth. In this work, the authors propose that the common infuses all spheres of life. They refer not only to earth's air, water, plant and animal life, but also to the factors that make up human society: from languages and habits, to affects and codes. Despite living in an ever more globalized world, shared resources are increasingly privatized. Hardt and Negri offer love as a prospective cure, positing love as an act that produces the common in the service of mutual knowledge, experience, and new forms of community. In turn, Common Love offers an aesthetic experience of this production.

Four students enrolled in the Department of Art History and Archaeology's MA in Modern Art: Critical and Curatorial Studies program (MODA), working in collaboration with Professor Kaira M. Cabañas, are serving as curators: A.E. Benenson, Kristen Chappa, Donald Johnson-Montenegro, and Tomoko Kanamitsu. They have selected work by recent graduates of Columbia's MFA program in Visual Arts, to create a compelling and meaningful narrative. The exhibition comprises paintings, photographs, sculpture, video, and site-specific installations by 13 artists: Dave Arnold ('97), Ronnie Bass ('07), Guy Ben-Ner ('03), Sean Dack ('02), N Dash ('10), Marc Handelman ('03), Tim Hyde ('05), Will Kwan ('04), Mads Lynnerup ('08), Yasue Maetake ('06), Gabriel Martinez ('09), Gedi Sibony ('00), Mika Tajima ('03), Christian de Vietri ('09), and Rona Yefman ('09).

The works included in Common Love explore love as a way to participate in the production of a contemporary world where physical, cultural, and virtual space is shared. Shed of its conventional packaging, the transformative power of love can be identified in the artists' work.

The exhibition is accompanied by the catalogue Common Love, Aesthetics of Becoming, edited by Kaira M. Cabañas. Published by the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, the catalogue features fully illustrated essays, as well as a transcript of Michael Hardt's round table discussion with the curators. Contributors include Gregory Amenoff, Robert E. Harrist Jr., A.E. Benenson, Kristen Chappa, Donald Johnson-Montenegro, and Tomoko Kanamitsu.