Introduced by Executive Dean Mary Watson, Maria Thereza Alves receives the Vera List Center Prize for Art and Politics 2016-2018 and the prize object, Yoko Ono's sculpture The Third Eye, for her project Seeds of Change. Seeds of Change explores the social, political and cultural history of ballast flora in port cities and reveals patterns, temporalities and instruments of colonialism, commerce and migration going back many centuries.
Following the Prize presentation Carin Kuoni, Director/Curator of the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, moderates a conversation between Maria Thereza Alves, who discusses her prize-winning project and its repercussions in the current political moment and Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics and professor of geography in Earth and Environmental Sciences at The City University of New York.
The Vera List Center was founded twenty-five years ago, a time of rousing debates on freedom of speech and identity politics, the Culture Wars in the U.S, and challenges to society's investment in the arts. In a radically changed world, new articulations of related conflicts are now erupting with similar fervor throughout the world – and the Center is marking its 25th anniversary with two major assemblies: in November 2017, an international conference on art and social justice, celebrating the third Vera List Center Prize for Art and Politics, and in April 2018, a celebration of twenty-five years of Vera List Center Fellows.
The Vera List Center Prize for Art and Politics 2016-2018: Maria Thereza Alves, Seeds of Change New York—A Botany of Colonization is organized by Carin Kuoni, director of the Vera List Center for Art and Politics and Amanda Parmer, curator of the Vera List Center, and is made possible by Prize Founding Supporters: James Keith Brown and Eric Diefenbach, Elizabeth R. Hilpman and Byron Tucker, Jane Lombard, Joshua Mack and The New School.