ICA celebrated the opening of First Among Equals. 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 considered 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 included 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 resisted the notion that collaboration equals consensus.
First Among Equals drew on the respective communities of the exhibition’s curators. Philadelphia participants include Bodega, Alex Da Corte, Extra Extra, Marginal Utility, and Machete Group. Los Angeles participants include Kathryn Andrews, P&Co., Mateo Tannatt, and Wu Tsang.
The evening was accompanied by a DJ set by Wendy Yao of Ooga Booga (Los Angeles), a performative sculpture by Kathryn Andrews, complimentary La Colombe coffee, and a cash bar. The evening began with an exhibition walkthrough with participating artists and curators Alex Klein and Kate Kraczon.