First Among Equals book cover
Mark Owens, Other Means
Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania
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In a moment of unprecedented social connection, how do artists work together outside of their individual practices? Focusing on Los Angeles and Philadelphia, First Among Equals considers the various modes that contemporary artists have developed to work with their peers and reach across generations. Cooperative, if at times contentious, contributions to the show include performance, publications, curatorial projects, and artworks that incorporate the work of other artists. Who comes first in these relationships? By highlighting the dynamics of negotiation, dialogue, influence, contingency, and competition at work in contemporary artistic practice, First Among Equals resists the notion that collaboration equals consensus and draws on the respective communities of the exhibition’s curators. Philadelphia participants include Bodega, Alex Da Corte, Extra Extra, and Marginal Utility and Machete Group. Los Angeles participants include Kathryn Andrews, P&Co., Mateo Tannatt, and Wu Tsang. This fully illustrated catalogue accompaniment to the exhibition features contributions from ICA curators Alex Klein and Kate Kraczon.