Organized by the New Museum’s Department of Education and Public Engagement, R&D (Research and Development) Seasons connect projects across multiple platforms around a new organizing theme each season. Seasonal themes are generated by the artists-in-residence and the department’s collaborations with artists lead to exhibitions, performances, conferences, screenings, publications, after-school programs for teens, Family Day activities, and archival research. Anchoring the Museum’s dedication to expanded forms of knowledge and cultural production, each theme is wide-ranging and limber rather than illustrative; participating artists, scholars, and curators raise topical questions and often test thematic limits.
In 2019, the artist Jeffrey Gibson (b. 1972, Colorado Springs, CO) was the artist-in-residence for the Department of Education and Public Engagement’s Winter/Spring R&D Season: INHERITANCE. The title of his residency and exhibition, “The Anthropophagic Effect,” alludes to Oswald de Andrade’s legendary 1928 Manifesto Antropófago (Anthropophagic Manifesto), which argued that Indigenous communities could devour colonizers’ culture as a way of rejecting domination and radically transforming Western culture to their own ends. The season’s theme, INHERITANCE, points to Andrade’s powerful proposition while more broadly alluding to the transmission of knowledge, skills, and capital.