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Will You Be There?

Curated by Olakiitan Adeola, Isabella Anastasio, Ashlin Ballif, Angelica Fuentes, David Hanlon, Minji Lee, Clifford Loh, Marley Smit, Yuan Zhi, and Xiao Zong


Artists: Danni Bellando, Hermanas Iglesias, Kristen Jensen, Super Critical Mass, Post Museum, Ana Prvački, and Joy O. Ude


Will You Be There? is a virtual exhibition exploring the precariousness and necessity of togetherness, particularly in moments of exigency. Concepts of community are often defined by shared space—whether in physical space or in the metaphysical space of common ideas—but in the interest of social distancing, the exhibition Will You Be There? will not occupy a physical space. Will You Be There? utilizes a digital platform as a means to sustain community in the absence of physical gathering, and asks: How do we conceive of community in a climate in which social distancing and self-quarantine become necessary? How can we come together in shared space when it is essential we all stay home? The COVID-19 outbreak has brought these questions to the front of social consciousness and, as a response, the exhibition brings a roster of international artists who explore ways of giving and receiving care, of sacrifice and responsibility within our symbiotic relationships in the face of uncertainty. 


Image: Ana Prvački, still frame from Hand Pollination Glove (2018), video


Noam Segal

Segal, PhD, independent curator and scholar, has mounted curatorial projects internationally, from Paris to Los Angeles, Copenhagen to New York, Chicago to Tel Aviv, and has written articles and catalog essays for a broad range of publications and institutions, such as Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Torino; La Panacée, Montpellier; Mousse, Bomb, and the forthcoming volume Curating Under Pressure: International Perspectives on Negotiating Conflict and Upholding Integrity from Routledge. She has worked with Pope L., Neil Beloufa, Hayley Aviva Silverman, and Jesper Just. Noam is a Visiting Scholar at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts’ Department of Performance Studies and previous served as Associate Director and senior faculty member at Bezalel Academy’s Curatorial Studies and MFA programs.

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Isabella Anastasio

Anastasio (New York, NY) was born in Vermont and raised on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Anastasio received her B.A. in Studio Art and Art History double major from the University of Vermont in Burlington. She has done curatorial work at Burlington’s Fleming Museum and was the external exhibitions intern at Burlington City Arts. Currently, Anastasio is interested in the grotesque in art and continues her artistic practice in New York.

Ashlin Artemesia Ballif

Ballif (Burlington, VT) received her Honors B.A. in Art History with a minor in English from the University of Vermont in Burlington, where her particular focus was on sociopolitical and conceptual artwork. She worked in the Exhibitions & Collections Department of the Fleming Museum and as an events coordinator at Burlington City Arts. After graduation, Ballif worked for two years as a gallery assistant and on the Artist Jury Committee at Frog Hollow Gallery in Burlington. Her current focus is on interdisciplinary programming and curating.

Angelica Maria Fuentes

Fuentes (Merced, CA) is a curator, writer, and playworker. Fuentes holds a B.A. in Art History, Theory, and Criticism from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). While attending UCSD Fuentes worked in campus galleries, curated both student and professional art exhibitions, sat on the curatorial committee for two annual student art shows, and participated in the Visual Art Department's art history honors series, which resulted in a research thesis on the recurring image of the crucifix in contemporary art. While living in San Diego, Fuentes worked at a hybrid contemporary art and children's museum, the New Children's Museum, as a playworker and later as apart of the museum’s annual community outreach programming. Fuentes' curatorial interests lie in museum accessibility making space for artists identifying as other in the context of art-historical Eurocentrism and patriarchal canonization. She seeks to use curation as a medium for mobilizing counter-hegemonic visibility regarding diversity, intersectionality, and equity.

David Hanlon

Hanlon (Kailua, HI) earned his B.F.A. in photography at the School of Visual Arts in 2016, while also running his own art handling and exhibition preparatory freelance business for the past twelve years. Afterwards he gained experience with various galleries in Berlin and New York, along with working on various publications throughout Scandinavia. He received a master’s degree from Sotheby’s Institute of Art, where his subject law and the art market, while also working at the Aperture Foundation and at Aicon Gallery. As well, Hanlon designed a nonprofit communal art space in partnership with Hawaiian Airlines and continues independent curatorial work during his current studies.

Minji Lee

Lee (Seoul, South Korea) is an independent curator and writer. Minji received her B.F.A in Curatorial Studies & Art Management from Dongduk Women’s University, Seoul. Subsequently, she worked as an exhibition coordinator at 2016 Busan Biennale, titled “Hybridizing Earth, Discussing Multitude,” under Artistic Director Cheagob Yun (Director of HOW Art Museum, Shanghai). Afterward Lee worked at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) in Seoul and at the Coreana Museum of Art. Lee’s curatorial research focuses on cultural anthropology, with a strong interest in race, gender, and post-colonialism through the lens of contemporary art.

Clifford Loh

Loh (Singapore) received his Honors B.F.A. in photography at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore in 2015. In 2016, he served as Curatorial Projects Manager at the Parkview Museum Singapore, where he oversaw public programs and curatorial research. In 2018, Loh served as project manager at NTU-Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore, where he oversaw a public art education and research residency program. He is invested in the research of art in publicly accessible spaces and transdisciplinary approaches to contemporary visual arts and culture in Southeast Asia. Prior to his work in the visual arts, Loh co-founded and is managing editor of Vulture Magazine, a Singapore-based independent publication dedicated to the exploration of contemporary culture. For Vulture, Loh has interviewed artists and cultural luminaries, such as Ai Wei Wei, Rikrit Tiravanija, Jesse Jones, Gerhard Steidl, and Rick Owens, among others.

Adeola Olakiitan

Olakiitan (Lagos, Nigeria) is a writer and curator based in New York City. During the last three years, working in the city of Lagos, they worked independently and with others on small-scale cultural projects, curated both group and solo exhibitions of emerging and established contemporary Nigerian artists, and taken on advisory roles for younger and student artists. Adeola has participated in workshops and forums that advocate for critical documentation and preservation of Nigerian visual culture. Their independent pursuits coalesced into Qra33, a studiolab designing objects and spaces of critical nuance and play. Adeola’s current research takes specific interest in the poetics and sur-realities of new-media and post-internet art.

Marley C. Smit

Smit (New York, NY) is a New York City-born and raised art critic and former gallerist. She received her B.A. in Art History from Hampshire College and then returned home to immerse herself in the New York art world. She has worked in various galleries across the city, as well as at an artist studio and an arts public relations firm. Most recently, she served as assistant to Sarah Potter, an art dealer and independent curator based in New York. Smit’s written work can be found in publications such as D/Railed Contemporary Art Magazine and Whitehot Magazine.

Yuan Zhi

Zhi (Hangzhou, China) is a writer and curator currently based in New York. She received her B.A. from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, majoring in Visual Culture and Cinema Studies. Zhi is interested in the cross section of visual phenomena and politics. In 2018 she published a research paper “The Role of Artist in Arab Spring” in CMA Journal. She has worked at the Power Station of Art in Shanghai, assisting on several exhibitions, including The Time Writing. Zhi most recently worked for the Richmond Art Gallery in Vancouver as an exhibition coordinator and curatorial assistant, where she helped organize ArtRich 2018, as well as working on exhibitions by Xiaojing Yan and Karen Tam. 

Xiao Zong

Zong (Shanghai, China) is a curator currently based in New York. Previously, she was an investment banker at China Merchants Securities. Zong received her BS in Finance from the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing and her MS in Finance from the University of Maryland's Robert. H. Smith Business School. She worked briefly at the Poly International Auction before joining the MA Curatorial Practice program. Her passion for contemporary art brought her to the New York art world where she hopes to continue her practice, as well as in China.

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MA Curatorial Practice 
School of Visual Arts

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