Simon Wu will write a series of essays about the social spaces that surround art institutions—the nightclub, the studio, and the archive, where queer and POC artists and collectives rave and party, give astrology readings, speed date, and share skills as well as meals—for the artistic interventions that linger there. Wu will consider these practices in relation to intergenerational shifts in cultural politics, so as to locate how classism and racism striate perceived utopias. By linking the socially motivated performances of these artists and spaces to a long lineage of community-based labor unrecognized by the contemporary art world, Wu hopes to expand the criteria by which these social spaces enable institutional critique. 

Simon Wu is a writer and curator involved in collaborative art production and research. He writes about recent transformations in race, identity, and class politics as reflected in contemporary art, fashion, and digital culture. He has an interest in “bad desires,” particularly as they manifest in marginalized communities pressurized by impending climate doom, post-Instagram sexual politics, and whiteness. His writing has appeared in publications including Art in America, BOMB, The Drift, frieze, and Momus. He is an alum of the Whitney Independent Study Program and a curator with the Racial Imaginary Institute.