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Ellen Mara De Watcher, author of Co-Art, invites curator Nora Heidorn and artist Jade Montserrat to discuss self-care and mutual care within collaborative creative practices.

Over the past few years, Audre Lorde’s maxim that self-care is ‘an act of political warfare’ has been invoked in a range of different contexts and for a surprising array of purposes. Some might say Lorde’s concept of ‘self-care’ has been co-opted by the wellness industry, while others argue that the demands of contemporary life and the cultural industries leave us with no choice but to retreat and look after ourselves. What effect is this having on social and collaborative processes and outputs?

This discussion programmed alongside Jerwood Collaborate!, will draw on recent exhibitions by curator Nora Heidorn (‘Sick & Desiring’, Bergen Assembly, 2019) and artist Jade Montserrat (‘Instituting Care‘, Bluecoat, Liverpool, 2019) to explore a range of creative responses to social, economic and industry pressures, such as doing less, doing nothing, and balancing engagement with abstention and refusal.

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