Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time: Against Capitalism's Temporal Bullying - Red Bull Arts Detroit

Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time: Against Capitalism’s Temporal Bullying

September 18 – November 3, 2019
Thursday – Sunday
11am – 4pm
20190918 12:00:00 20191103 18:00:00 America/New_York Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time: Against Capitalism’s Temporal Bullying Red Bull Studios New York 220 w 18th Street 10011 New York, NY USA

Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time: Against Capitalism’s Temporal Bullying is an exhibition curated by Red Bull Arts Detroit’s inaugural curatorial fellow Taraneh Fazeli that focuses on the politics of health and care. (Note: “Crip” is a political reclaiming of the derogatory label “cripple” popularized by disability activists.) This traveling, site-specific exhibition uses creative engagements to reimagine care, relief, and repair in and through some of the very structures that play a role in making us sick, while also engaging in more radical networks of support.

Artists: Ava Ansari + Poetic Societies, Fia Backström, Black Power Naps (Navild Acosta and Fannie Sosa), Danilo Correale, Wayne Curtis, Jen Liu, Carolyn Lazard, Jordan Lord, Park McArthur, Sondra Perry, Katya Tepper, Cassie Thornton, Constantina Zavitsanos, and others to be announced.

Programs: Through The Warp and Weft of Care series, in dialogue with local communities of care, workshops + performances will unfold throughout the course of the Fall 2019 exhibition and next Spring 2020. Details to come.

Partners: Detroit Disability Power, ProjectArt, RIP Medical Debt, and others to be announced.

Opening Reception: Wednesday, September 18th, 5-9PM

Curated by Taraneh Fazeli, 2019 Red Bull Arts Detroit Curatorial Fellow. 

Past iterations have been held at The Luminary (St. Louis, MO), Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts (Omaha, NE), EFA Project Space (New York, NY), Lawndale Art Center and Project Row Houses (Houston, TX), as well as numerous social service organizations.  The original curatorial essay can be read here.

The artists taking part in this travelling exhibition that is customized to site, through artworks and practices with communities of care, examine how care for the body in states of illness, rest, and disability (particularly in relation to the time they operate on) prompts us to re-imagine forms of support. Dragging on and circling back, with no regard for the stricture of the workweek or compulsory able-bodiedness, the time that this project investigates is non-compliant. It refuses a fantasy of normalcy measured by in-or-out thresholds and demands care that exceeds what nuclear families can provide.

Whether or not you currently identify as sick, we all experience fluctuating states of debility throughout our lives. In the United States, many of us are exhausted from living and working in a capitalist system rife with insufficient and deteriorating infrastructures for care. Even if you have never expected much from institutions and rely mostly on mutual aid to survive, chances are you still lean on some of the very forces (corporations, atrophying public institutions, private healthcare, etc.) that play a role in making us sick. Mindful of the fact that the failures of public health or biomedicine are felt by some disproportionately more than others due to race, class, disability, gender, sexuality, etc. and that processes of colonization, displacement, and extraction have negatively impacted the health of generations of various populations, Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time provides a platform for exploring collective forms of healing the way these traumas are held in the body and dealing with these structural processes of extraction and exclusion. 

The project’s curatorial approach is motivated by ethics of care emerging from disability justice that values rather than pathologizes different forms of dependencies. Disability justice imparts how recognizing dependencies must be the basis of ethical human relations. While some people are more dependent than others due primarily to the manner in which societies and built environments are structured, whether it be as when we are a baby, sick, elderly, or out of work, we all are dependent on others during times in our lives. Complete autonomy is a fallacy often only afforded to the wealthy, who are actually dependent on those that made and keep them so (i.e. by the extraction of natural and human resources).  Artworks and engagements within Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time counter the over-valorization of independence in US society and respond to how racialized global capitalism has produced debility in many populations while, at the same time, creating bureaucratic infrastructures that support very few people. To this end, artworks dealing with infrastructure, care, ancestral healing, illness, fitness, sleep, somatic sustainability, debt, dependency, life/work balance, alternative temporalities, and wellness culture are included within an exhibition that provides a locus for ongoing examinations into relief, resistance, and potential repair.


Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time is a process-based show; the process of making it and many of the artworks within demonstrate what types of flexible infrastructures are necessary to privilege holistic wellbeing. As such, the normal temporal logics of arts programming and institutions are eschewed in favor of a more expansive time. Many art residencies use “parachute-in” models that don’t allow participants substantial time for listening before they can act, thereby preventing meaningful local engagement when residents come from afar.  Recognizing this, the resistance of a progressivist linear logic in this project’s structure is to allow its participants to work on sick time, and to respond to dialogues particular to site. While there will be an opening event, a closing reception will also be held to celebrate efforts that necessarily unfold throughout the course of the exhibition. First, has been the development of accessibility initiatives (detailed below). Second, three local artists will develop installations addressing what has occurred on and to the land Red Bull Art Detroit is on that needs to be healed. Lastly, after the exhibition is over, in The Warp and Weft of Care, encounters such as listening investigations, movement exercises, the sharing of community healing histories, and other programs will occur offsite in Spring 2020.


Fazeli has deepened her ongoing work on accessibility through the negotiations with the host organizations of this traveling exhibition around support for herself, staff, artists, visitors, and local communities, primarily through the lens of accessibility. The term “accessibility” is rooted in disability justice and is meant to refer to the ability to enter a place, fully participate, and feel welcome. Fazeli’s approach to this is intersectional and dual-pronged. First, as mentioned above, efforts are underway to support Red Bull Arts Detroit and other local arts institutions programs in becoming more accessible (for people with disabilities, and others marked by processes of exclusion). Second, in order to better support creative work happening outside institutional structures and those who might not feel comfortable in “white cube” art spaces for many reasons, related programs will occur outside the organization’s confines in community spaces during Spring of 2020. 

Partnerships with Detroit Disability Power and outside accessibility consultants—Ezra Benus, Dessa Cosma, and Ani Grigorian—were established to support Red Bull Arts Detroit becoming more accessible. These partnerships enabled a process to unfold led not only by administrators, but by disabled artists and local activists. This included an audit of Red Bull Arts Detroit’s physical infrastructure (galleries, residency, office) resulting in phased improvements, intersectional anti-oppression training for its staff, and the establishment of a “tool kit” of practices and assistive technologies to be used onsite and available for local art organizations to borrow free of charge. Red Bull Arts Detroit has provided support for accessibility programs and a commitment to continuing them after unparalleled in any version of this exhibition previously. Beyond these efforts, the aim in initiating this is to support further development of local infrastructure, which will be done by sharing the “tool kit” in a workshop for peer organizations organized with the consultants sharing what was learnt in the process. Additionally, there will be events such as a descriptive tour with touch elements for non-visual learners led by Benus, a curatorial lecture + walkthrough, and sessions where artist Cassie Thornton will create alternative credit reports to help people with “bad credit” get housing, jobs, and/or healthcare.


Please see Red Bull Art Detroit’s accessibility page here for details on general support when visiting exhibitions or programs. 

There you will find details on how to reach a staff member with questions or to request specific support, the availability of gender non-segregated and wheelchair-accessible bathrooms, videos of wheelchair-accessible entrances and routes through the building, the best public transport to the space and accessible parking, a social narrative on the space, and details on travel fund support.

Accessibility details specific to each program, such as assistive technologies or seating available, will be listed on each event’s web page. All events are free of charge.

For accessibility concerns specific to the artworks in this exhibition, note that one video uses a stereoscopic effect, an installation uses a flood light/bright light, and another video has fast-paced animation sequences that addresses violence to workers’ bodies. Visitors can still experience the show without these elements if any are of particular concern. Please see the gallery attendants who can guide you as to how. 

Texts, captions, and programs are in English. The videos within the exhibition are all captioned and there will be seating to view them from. The will be large-format versions available of the gallery guide. 

For the exhibition opening on Wednesday, September 18th, 2019 from 5-9PM, there will be an ASL translator to welcome people. The opening will be alcohol-free until 6:30PM and we request that no photos are taken until after 6:30PM. There will be a quiet room adjoining the exhibition with a range of comfortable seating, low light levels, stim materials, legos, ear plugs, and a range of drawing materials. This is a space for anyone who needs to chill out a bit. It’s designed around the needs of autistic people, but everyone is welcome. If you need to move around, pace, or not make eye contact during your visit, know that you are welcome in this exhibition.

**While openings are often prime time to show how fine you can look and how good you can smell, the exhibition’s organizers ask that everyone come to the opening and exhibition scent-free. Many ill (and non-ill) people have chemical sensitivities, which means they do not tolerate scents. If you come wearing perfumes, there will be scent-free soap in the bathrooms to wash it off. More info on how and why to do this can be found in a resource by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha here.**

While the exhibiting artists allow photographs of their artworks, we ask that you do not use flash. Please refrain from photographing other visitors without permission. Note, there will be photographs taken at the opening reception after 6:30PM.

Children and service animals are welcome. There will be an area with children’s toys and reading materials in The Waiting Room installation. 

**Concealed carry is prohibited at Red Bull Arts Detroit.**


Support by: Gabe Chess, Project Manager; Cyrah Dardas, Curatorial Assistant; Matt Eaton and Dino Valdez, Installation Managers; Sarah Blanchette, Pat Delloro, Franklin Jonas, Korey Lightford, and Nik Pence, Installation; Kirsten Nicholas, Communications.

Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time was made possible with the generous support of Red Bull Arts. Special thanks to the Freeland Grain and Bean Company. Research support came from the Jan van Eyck Academie. Past versions of the exhibition were made possible with the generous support of EFA Project Space, a program of The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s Core Residency Program; and The Idea Fund. 

As there is always a web of support holding a project up, in addition to the exhibition’s artists, Red Bull Arts staff, and partners, gratitude goes to Jessica Allie, Noura Ballout, Ezra Benus, Dessa Cosma, Ouliana Ermolova, Ani Grigorian, Tyanna Buie, Scott Campbell, Asia Johnson, Katherine MacBride, Shanna Merola, Tad Murawska, J. Olson, and gallery attendants Sydney Frakes, and Lorena Cruz, and Laura Gibson.