The ROCI Road to Peace International Call for Student Artist Submissions

Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
Sep 10, 2015 4:00AM

The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Artsy, and Nicole Bray, winner of the 2015 Emerging Curator competition co-hosted by the Foundation and Artsy, invite students enrolled at accredited institutions to submit artworks for consideration in the inaugural Emerging Curator exhibition, being held December 5, 2015 – March 6, 2016 at the Academy Art Museum in Easton, Maryland.  

Titled The ROCI Road to Peace: Experiments in the Unfamiliar, the exhibition was inspired by the ethos of the original Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange (ROCI, 1984–91). Seeking to foster understanding and promote peace through art, the artist traveled with his team to ten nations around the world—Chile, China, Cuba, East Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Soviet Union, Tibet, and Venezuela. Rauschenberg explored diverse cultural traditions, new materials, and local artistic practices, using art to shine a light on the commonalities and differences of human experience. The original intentions advocated by ROCI are as relevant today as they were in 1984—to share, understand, and celebrate difference. In the words of Rauschenberg, “a one-to-one contact through art contains potent peaceful powers.”

“It was not until I realized that it is the celebration of the differences between things that I became an artist who could see. I know ROCI could make this kind of looking possible.” – Rauschenberg, Tobago Statement, October 22 1984

The ROCI Road to Peace: Experiments in the Unfamiliar explores what a modern day ROCI might look like in today’s social, political, and technological landscape. Despite increased access to technology and the internet’s promise of a more globalized social community, the contemporary social climate remains fraught with economic and political turmoil. On the occasion of this exhibition, Nicole Bray has invited seven renowned international artists to present digital artwork examining the borderless nature of images and contemporary media. 

Nevertheless, the ubiquitous presence of global dependence on digital channels of all kinds also embodies the original humanitarian intentions advocated by ROCI. The ROCI Road to Peace: Experiments in the Unfamiliar examines technology as a vehicle for individual connectivity and a greater understanding of different cultures and movements; an awareness of the diverse means of expressing shared moments around the world serves as an initial stepping stone towards fostering a network of peace and understanding.

The ROCI Road to Peace: Experiments in the Unfamiliar will complement a related exhibition at the Academy Art Museum, Robert Rauschenberg: ROCI Works from the National Gallery, curated by Anke Van Wagenberg. The concurrent exhibition will include iconic works by Robert Rauschenberg taken from his ROCI series, which have been graciously loaned by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. 

- Nicole Bray, Curator of The ROCI Road to Peace: Experiments in the Unfamiliar

Robert Rauschenberg Foundation