I've worked with Karen in relations and conditions that were initially quite thoroughly shaped by institutions: first in the educational institution where I teach and she studied, and later in an art institution where I invited her for a collaboration as part of an exhibition project. In both, Karen extended sustained and precise invitations – sometimes explicit, sometimes implicit, often not so easy –, to pause and question what I was doing (what we were doing), what I was expecting, how I was relating and why (and again, why?).
As someone who relies a lot on written/spoken language and is critically interested in the institutions that co-shape the world, I sometimes wish Karen would be brutally direct and public about how she relates to the institutional conditions and ideas she has encountered and encounters, because I think she carries a lot of wisdom - and what if people miss it because she does not explain herself? Luckily, then I remember that what I value about working with Karen is really not about explanations or declarations but about processes. Institutions attempt to narrow the possibilities of our relations; Karen broadens them – not by speaking about it, but by entering into (sometimes wordless) negotiations about the conditions that separate people even if they are working together.
( Falke Pisano )