Indisposable: Structures of Support After the Americans with Disabilities Act is a multi-module exhibition that will roll out as a series of online events over the course of fall 2020 – spring 2021 and will culminate in a physical exhibition to open in the gallery in the summer of 2021.
Drawn from some of the leading artists and scholars addressing the lived experience of disability today, Indisposable: Structures of Support After the ADA addresses the urgent questions of our moment where pandemic and demands for racial justice intersect, insisting on answers to several questions: What makes our lives livable? How do we afford our own existence and what happens when we cannot? Who creates the means by which we survive; or, were we ever meant to survive? Where are we seen as disposable, and why? How can we insist on our own indisposability?
Through a range of media including photography, performance, and video, artists and scholars address how the support structures for life (health insurance, housing, food security, and education) are insecure at best for far too many people. COVID-19 and the continuing effects of white supremacy expose an ideological landscape where some lives, particularly those lived at the intersection of disability, queer, and BIPOC communities, are deemed disposable. However, precarious support structures are neither a new revelation nor a new crisis, but rather a continuation of a past which both predates the ADA and has not yet passed. And yet, these ongoing crises also highlight the generative humanity of people who create support structures on a small, local level through art, mutual aid, and interdependent communities. Indisposable prompts us to rethink, in exciting and inclusive ways, how human value is constructed in order to explore the life-sustaining practices emerging from embodiments often deemed disposable. With disability as the binding thread throughout, this exhibition is most importantly about how we raise each other up collectively, interdependently, materially, and with joy.
Image caption: Alex Dolores Salerno, El Dios Acostado (video still), 2020