Recuperative Tactics

Constructed from donated and scavenged materials, including physical remnants from Raskin’s previous works, Recuperative Tactics is a large-scale, immersive environment, emphasizing the multiple histories and narratives embodied in the architecture it occupies.

Stemming from Raskin’s 2013 experience of traveling in Afghanistan, made possible through a Creative Time Global Residency Grant and the generous support of the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, this exhibition marks a shift in practice, instigated by a profound desire to escape the rule-bound models of capitalist social construction. Eschewing the general maxim of the artist as the sole authorial voice, Recuperative Tactics endeavors to foster discourse and inclusiveness, showcasing how dialogue and interaction can uproot a top-down definition of community. 

Raskin, along with a team of other makers, uses a constellation of materials and voices to create a conversation about the duality of recuperation – that of making amends as a means of moving forward, and in its definition as a calculated political maneuver “by which those who control the spectacular culture co-opt all revolutionary ideas by publicizing a neutralized version of them, literally turning oppositional tactics into ideology.1” 

Moveable walls, seating areas, potted plants, tables, and chandeliers all function as a malleable assemblage, regularly shifting in appearance, configuration, and function. Both an installation and a platform, Recuperative Tactics utilizes the gallery space (and so too the opportunity of the exhibition) as an apparatus for living and making, creating a framework to subvert the hierarchy of “the solo exhibition.”

1Kurczynski, Karen. Expression as Vandalism: Asger Jorn’s “Modifications” in RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics, No. 53/54 (Spring – Autumn, 2008), pp. 295-6.


you know it when you feel it
Curated by Kim Charles Kay as part of Recuperative Tactics

I love this pink wall you built, the way the light shines through the cracks and the space where the colors bleed into each other. It’ll be nice to spend more time with it.

Being in this space feels like being in the presence of ghosts. All the ghosts; the ones of all the workers before, the artist making shows, and the iconic image of artists living and working in New York lofts over the last 4+ decades. This space feels like a poster child for the global export of what a creative life/style should look like: NYC loft living, get it now! But in this space, there is no living; it’s post-industrial and pre-condo. It’s the formalized space of the “alternative.” Which brings me to you and to your request. You asked me for help, so here is my help. It comes in the form of an offering. An offering not just to the ghosts or to the life/style gods, but to the living…to the place where the colors bleed into each other. 

We know this place, it’s the place where we affect one another. A place before the heavy, singular definition of what “it is.” Makers can feel great freedom even while constraints act against our agency, even as we attempt to stay engaged with our own creativity. Our ideas/artworks can be taken and used or just subsumed by a giant matrix of global capital that is the field of the creative professional. Pressures build and straight jackets emerge – materially, conceptually, and interpersonally. Yet we are not made to wear them. They may be laid out nicely and OF COURSE there is always someone willing to fit us with one, but the choice is still ours. 

So I’ll warm the space, but not for the ones who need a white room or the object hung at 60” high to see it. I’ll do it for you and those who choose life/style; for the bodies that may wish to linger and stay. This is for the ones who have always known that being a maker is way more interesting than the stories we’ve been told about it. This is for the ones who are curious and don’t need the meaning, the content, or the experience predigested for them. May we always remember that even this exported loft living life/style with all of its illusions of freedom still comes with 
a utility bill. 


Recuperative Tactics Programs & Events

WRITE / CODE / SPEAK: Interactive Media Showcase 2014 
Saturday, May 3rd, 2–5pm
Free admission; RSVP requested

WRITE / CODE / SPEAK features high school girls’ dynamic multimedia stories told through new platforms for writing. Using a variety of mixed media, including traditional writing, audio, GIFs, and HTML coding, the interactive installations of WRITE / CODE / SPEAK showcase the writers’ unique voices, backgrounds, and experiences as high school students in New York City. Youth writers present their media pieces with performances, encouraging the audience to experience their creative processes and stories. This showcase represents the culmination of the Girls Write Now Digital Media Mentoring Program for 2013-14.

WRITE / CODE / SPEAK is organized in collaboration with Art in General and Lisi Raskin as part of Recuperative Tactics. The showcase will take place at Art in General’s 6th floor gallery from 2–5pm on Saturday, May 3rd.

Girls Write Now (GWN) is New York’s first and only organization with a writing and mentoring model for girls. GWNis a community of professional writers dedicated to providing opportunities for underserved high school girls to develop their independent voices and write their way to a better future. GWN students are 90% high need, 90% girls of color, and 20% immigrant. For 16 years, GWN’s programming has broken through the barriers of gender, race, and poverty, transforming the lives of nearly 5,000 girls, and sending 100% of its seniors on to college with portfolios, scholarships, and a new sense of confidence. GWN has built a record of achievement distinguished by The New York Times and twice by the White House.

For more information on Girls Write Now please visit



Open on Saturdays here at the 6th floor gallery at Art in General, Crafter-Hours is a forum for anyone who would like to spend some time at a community table, making objects and talking. I have culled some of my favorite materials to offer: construction paper, glue, wooden bits, and fasteners — basically the stuff that I have been fiddling with for the past 20 years of making. I am certain that there are ways to address these materials that I have not seen, and would not be able to come up with on my own. I want to see new things. I want to see what other hands, hearts, and minds come up with; that is part of why I am inviting you to participate in this.

But Crafter-Hours is also a way to give credit where credit is long overdue. Every art show relies on the labor of many people, including interns, staff, and fabricators. The work depends on far more than just the (usually singular) artist credited with its authorship. Crafter-Hours is one opportunity to trouble the convention of rendering that labor invisible. It is also an opportunity for intergenerational contact, dispersal of information among peers, and a space for conversations that feel pressing and urgent. I invite you to come to Crafter-Hours with your dreams, your issues, your complaints, your questions, your suspicions, and your needs.

In a literal sense, if you come to Crafter-Hours and make an artwork to display and/or participate in this conversation, you will become a part of the archive of artists who have presented work at Art in General, but this is just one proposal for ways to make the situation equitable. Another aim of Crafter-hours is to collectively generate new forms that we would like to see, using the format of the exhibition as a way to build this new language across communities of makers. –Lisi Raskin


Roundtable Discusion
Ava Ansari, Molly Kleiman, Lisi Raskin; Recuperative Tactics: Actionable Items

May 17, 2014
Art in General
79 Walker Street, 6th Floor
7p.m. - 9:30p.m. 

Recuperative Tactics: Actionable Items

 What is the invisible labor of making? Can we reshape authorship to effect social change? How can we intervene in the seemingly immovable structures reifying the economic inequality supporting – and caused by – our artistic practices? Join us to explore these questions with a roundtable discussion at Recuperative Tactics. Although the event will be facilitated by Ava Ansari, Molly Kleiman, and Lisi Raskin, it is our hope that the conversation will be instantiated by the invaluable contributions of our community of participants. Inspired in part by Raskin’s response to labor conditions at the Singapore Bienniale and the Istanbul Biennial, we will think together through new ways of responding to these hidden concerns we share.

The evening will begin with the roundtable discussion followed by informal dialogue over snacks and drinks. 

Come with an open mind and an empty stomach. 

Ava Ansari is an artist and curator. She has previously worked at Basement Gallery, Dubai, and Silk Road Gallery, Tehran. As an artist, she has presented work at Dixon Place, La Mama, Eyebeam, the AC Institute, among others. Ava is the co-director of The Back Room, a curatorial and pedagogical project, facilitating exchanges between artists in Iran and the US.

Molly Kleiman is a deputy editor of Triple Canopy, a magazine that advances a model for publication that encompasses digital works of art and literature, public conversations, exhibitions, and books. She is co-director of The Back Room, a curatorial and pedagogical project facilitating exchanges between artists in the US and Iran. She teaches at NYU's Gallatin School for Individual Study. 

Lisi Raskin is an artist and educator. She has shown her research and artwork at venues internationally. In 2013 Raskin was the recipient of a Creative Time Global Residency grant that supported her travel to Afghanistan. This trip formed the underpinning of her current new commission at Art in General entitled Recuperative Tactics. She teaches at Tyler School of Art. 


Sundaes for a Saturday//Sugar High

Saturday, May 31, 6:00-9:00pm
Art in General, 6th floor
Free Admission

Please join the artists of Recuperative Tactics and you know it when you feel itRoxanne D. Crocker, Lydia Enriquez, Kate Fox, Sean Gerstley, Misha Kahn, Kim Charles Kay, Brittany Mroczek, Lisi Raskin, Jon Rider, and Katie Stout for the closing of their respective shows and a good old-fashioned Sugar High.

This will be a celebration of the many makers that went into creating these exhibitions and to where we head from here. For some this celebration may come in the form of a sigh, for others it’s a joy-filled scream. However you choose to celebrate bring an appetite. There will be boxes of bananas, homemade ice cream, a waffle cone maker, cookie spoons, and so so much more. This is not food art. This is fun. Ponchos will be supplied. —kk