The In Between: Tea Talks is a series of facilitated discussions over home cooked meals that bring together conflicting populations of artists, activists and workers to discuss topics affecting them in the Bay Area. The conversations will be documented in audio, and though a series of commissioned writings by participants that will be published in a related reader, while artworks will be made in response and displayed during the show.
The project gathers artists, writers, tech workers, “sharing economy” laborers (Uber and Lyft drivers, AirBnB hosts) and their critics (taxi drivers, tenants rights activists) together in a hospitable environment so each may share their positions in a safe yet open and critical dialogue. Each position will be respectfully held in the space.
Adobe Books has always been a safe space for free speech, riveting conversation and a multitude of voices. It is a particularly poignant location as it sits in the heart of the Mission district and has been a subject of displacement and gentrification.
The goals of the project are to:
- Complicate the current good vs, evil/us vs. them narrative while eliciting understanding and extracting nuances from all sides.
- Engage in local micro politics while placing these issues in the larger current political landscape
- Create a space for hospitable democracy
- Share understanding about issues affecting our communities with a broader audience.
The meals will take place in the gallery and reserved participants will be the only ones allowed to voice opinions during the talks. Outside visitors can watch quietly and there will be a chance for them to add commentary through a note system.
Saturday 4/15, 10am-12pm
TAXI-RIDE SHARING TEA
Monday 4/17, 3-5pm
TENANTS RIGHTS-HOME SHARING TEA
Tuesday 4/18, 5-7pm
If interested in participating, please contact Lexa Walsh at Lexa@lexawalsh.com or 510 282 6311
Lexa Walsh is a longtime artist and cultural worker based in the Bay Area. She has also lived, worked, exhibited and toured internationally. She founded the experimental music, performance and film venue the Heinz Afterworld Lounge, worked for many years as a curator and administrator at CESTA, an international art center in Czech republic, whose team created radical curatorial projects to foster cross-cultural understanding. She co-founded and conceived of the all women, all toy instrument ensemble Toychestra. She founded and organizes Oakland Stock, the Oakland branch of the Sunday Soup network micro-granting dinner series that supports artists’ projects, and launched the Librarification tumblr, which hosts artist resources.
She is a graduate of Portland State University’s Art & Social Practice MFA program and was Social Practice Artist in Residence in Portland Art Museum’s Education department. She was a recipient of Southern Exposure’s Alternative Exposure Award, the CEC Artslink Award, the Gunk Grant and was a de Young Artist Fellow. She has participated in projects, exhibitions and performances locally and nationally at Apexart, Atlantic Center for the Arts, the de Young Museum, Intersection for the Arts, The Lab, Mills College Art Museum, Oakland Museum of California, Portland Art Museum, SFMOMA, Smack Mellon, Walker Art Center, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and has done several international artist residencies, tours and projects in Europe and Asia.
I examine and create social ties to craft “hospitable democracies” within cultural institutions both corporeal and imagined. In these democratic spaces for participation and collaboration, I provide frameworks for spontaneous interaction, subverting hierarchies to spark and forge relationships. Acting as anthropologist, archivist, chef, facilitator, and provocateur, art moves from the realm of “conversation piece” and itself becomes the arena in which communion happens. My work addresses subjects such as radical hospitality, generosity and reciprocity, ritual and inclusion, labor, and identity.
These experiences take such forms as meals, tours, songs, or scholarly play, and are often the works in themselves, though they can result in audio, photo, print, text, web or installation pieces. Each work serves as a platform for the multiple, often unheard, voices of the public in dialogue with each other and with local subcultures and geography.
- Lexa Walsh