CARO­LINE WOOLARD

BOMB Magazine - - CONTENTS - by John Haskell

Artists gen­er­ally fall into two groups: the mak­ers (of ob­jects) and do­ers (of ac­tiv­i­ties). They sur­vive, more or less, on the largesse of the art world. And then there’s a third group, not cre­at­ing ob­jects ex­actly and not ex­actly per­form­ing ac­tiv­i­ties, but work­ing to change the way the do­ing of art gets done. Caro­line Woolard is a mem­ber of this group. Yes, she makes ob­jects, and yes, her work is in­formed by an un­der­stand­ing of so­cial prac­tice, but she takes that so­cial prac­tice out of the art world and grounds it in the practicalities of life—her life— along with any­one who’s will­ing to join her. Part of the ap­peal of her work is the in­vi­ta­tion to join the ide­al­ized world she’s try­ing to cre­ate.

Ide­al­ized, in this case, is not the same as dreamy. With en­tre­pre­neur­ial gusto Woolard calls at­ten­tion to in­jus­tice; and then, mov­ing be­yond that, she asks: How can we change a sys­tem that per­pet­u­ates in­jus­tice? For her it’s a real ques­tion, and to an­swer it she uses, first of all, col­lab­o­ra­tion. Her work is about the col­lab­o­ra­tive process and about em­pow­er­ment. How can dis­en­fran­chised peo­ple have ac­cess to power? Her pro­vi­sional an­swer is: by band­ing to­gether. Woolard is a co-founder of OurGoods.org, a thriv­ing dig­i­tal meet­ing place where the ex­change of goods

above: in­stal­la­tion view of RE­SOURCES ( for EX­CHANGE CAFÉ), 2013, tyvek, silkscreen, sig­na­ture, cur­rency ex­change, per­form­ers, 2 ×6 inches. Cour­tesy of the artist and MoMA: Artists Experiment. Photo by Ryan Tem­pro.

right: WORK DRESS FOR BARTER ONLY, 2008– 2013, cot­ton- denim, barter agree­ment, di­men­sions vari­able. Cour­tesy of the artist. Photo by Mar­tyna Szczesna.

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