Caitlin Chaisson Named as Recipient of 2023 Curatorial Open Call 

Visual Arts



Caitlin Chaisson 

Recipient of 2023 Curatorial Open Call 

Photograph by Denis Gutiérrez-Ogrinc.  

The 8th Floor 

17 West 17th Street, NYC 

New York, NY – April 3, 2023 – The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation is pleased to announce  Caitlin Chaisson as the recipient of its 2023 Curatorial Open Call. Chaisson will curate a thematic group exhibition at The 8th Floor in the fall of this year. 

“After the success of last year’s inaugural Open Call for Curators, we decided on making it an annual  award. It is extremely important for organizations to engage with new voices, and there is evident  need for this type of opportunity in New York City within an established exhibition space,” explained  the Foundation’s Executive Director Anjuli Nanda Diamond. “Once again we witnessed an enormous  response from the curatorial community and are delighted to continue this initiative at The 8th Floor with Caitlin Chaisson.” 

This exhibition will provide a multi-dimensional lens to understand the complex relationship between  gaming and Indigenous sovereignty. As Chaisson states: “The exhibition will take place thirty-five  years after the passage of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), a federal law that established  the jurisdictional framework for governing Native American gaming, which is now a multibillion-dollar  industry. This act has had immense material and symbolic effects. The wealth generated by casinos  has been circulated—however unevenly—amongst many aspects of reservation life, offsetting  generations of chronic underfunding and deferrals from federal and state governments, and significantly impacting cultural activities in myriad ways. Artists have responded to this directly by  examining casinos and high stakes gambling as subjects of their artwork, and indirectly, by  considering the broader intersections between capitalism and colonialism. I am excited to work on  this project with an organization that values urgent questions concerning art and social justice.” 

Numerous artists have made significant works related to gambling or gaming, Chaisson observed in  her proposal, yet very few of these works have been contextualized in meaningful ways through the  framework of an exhibition. She posits this could be because of the challenges these works pose to  arts institutions: gambling in general is often seen as morally ambiguous, and reservation gaming in  particular is burdened by stereotypical and sensationalized media narratives. Many of these works also make plain the zero-sum game the US has strategically employed in negotiating self determination with Native American nations. Bringing together an interdisciplinary and intergenerational group of artists, this exhibition will offer a consideration of the social and political  implications of contemporary gaming.  

More details about the exhibition will be announced in summer 2023. 

Caitlin Chaisson is a curator and critic based in New York and holds an MA from the Center for  Curatorial Studies, Bard College. She currently works at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Previously, she served as the Director and Curator of Far Afield (2016–19), an initiative that supports  regionally-connected artistic and curatorial practices. She has also held positions and contracts at  The Drawing Center (New York City), e-flux (New York City), Emily Carr University of Art and Design  (Vancouver), and AKA Artist-Run Centre (Saskatoon). Her writing has appeared in Canadian Art, C  Magazine, and frieze magazine, among others.  

About the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation 

The Foundation believes in art as a cornerstone of cohesive, sustainable communities and greater  participation in civic life. In its mission to make art available to the broader public, in particular to  underserved communities, the Foundation provides direct support to, and facilitates partnerships  between, cultural organizations and advocates of social justice across the public and private sectors.  Through grantmaking, the Foundation supported cross-disciplinary work connecting art with social  justice via experimental collaborations, as well as extending cultural resources to organizations and  areas of New York City in need. 

About The 8th Floor 

The 8th Floor is an independent exhibition and event space established in 2010 by Shelley and  Donald Rubin to promote artistic and cultural initiatives. Inspired by The Shelley & Donald Rubin  Foundation, the gallery is committed to broadening the access and availability of art to New York  audiences. Seeking further cultural exchange, The 8th Floor explores the potential of art as an  instrument for social change in the 21st century, through an annual program of innovative  contemporary art exhibitions and an events program comprised of performances, salon-style  discussions, and those organized by external partners.  

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For media inquiries, please contact: Max Kruger-Dull, 212.675.1800 

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