Events, Interviews

Going Splaces: The Breakfast Club Series

The Breakfast Club is a series of inspiring encounters, bringing together creative forces for a morning of conversations, interactions and new connections. This Thursday, the event will be hosted at a beautiful Manhattan based splace, focusing on women from the art world.

Co-organizers Molly Surno and Julie Soloyeva took us behind the scene:


Splacer: Tell us about your motivation to organize the Breakfast Club.

Molly Surno: When Julie and I met, we sort of informally started creating gatherings where we could start building a community of like-minded people. Seeing as we both are involved in the art world, we wanted a place to casually socialize with our friends and people we haven’t yet met. Through the Breakfast Club I have met so many amazing friends, connected with old ones, started collaborating with new people, and facilitating projects between guests. It’s kind of goalless in the sense that we didn’t want this to become a strain but rather a celebration of wonderful people who need to know each other.

Julie Solovyeva: I’ve always been a fan of early productive mornings. I’ve read years ago that your body’s cognitive performance is optimal in late mornings, around 9am. Whether this science is true or not, I believe that everyone works differently but a morning dose of inspiration never hurt anyone. It is also comforting to be in a company of creative, like-minded people, so when Molly and I thought to make our informal meetings with friends in the arts, it seemed like a natural progression to expanding our network of friends, colleagues, and conversations.

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Photo by Katy Hallowell

S: Who participates in the gatherings? How do you select them?

JS: The idea is always to get the most dynamic group at the table, so a mix of ages, professions, interests and connections is usually our recipe for making it work. We try to invite a few people we know closely but may not get to see often; New York is a busy place! Mostly, we try to expand our reach, connect with people whose work we may admire but have not gotten to drink coffee with yet.

 

S: How do your own careers and life experiences relate to the format and the event?

MRS: I am an artist and continue with my art practice alongside my work as the Director of Partnerships at Splacer. The kind of work that I make is inherently collaborative, whether my performance piece We of Me, at BAM or my roaming experimental film/music series Cinema 16. The strongest thread throughout my work is a commitment to creating a physical experience that connects others to their own body and the “communal” body.” These ideas are influenced by the history of social sculpture, happenings, séances, and rituals, among other gatherings.

I think of these breakfasts as another opportunity to build a strong community based on similar spirit and aspirations, with the desire for exposure to more knowledge, art, ideas.

JS: I am a cultural producer and curator by trade. My academic and professional background has always been deeply rooted in inquiry, be it my studies and research in Conceptual and Performance Art at The Courtauld Institute, or building cultural and brand programs at the SoHo House, to recently helping brands and artists tell stories through my work with the Number 29. My work has always been and will be about connecting people with ideas and it’s the foundation of the Breakfast series.

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S: We always hear that although so many women are active within the art world, there is still inherent inequality in terms of wages, and occupying key positions. Do you consider that in your work? 

JS: It is a conversation that often creeps up and my answer is to educate the younger generation of women to take up their own cause, to demand what they deserve, to work hard and not to settle. It is often easy to point out the flaws and blame the system, but I think there is a lot that can be done from personal drive to help change the future. Give back, speak up, and it will go a long way!

 

S: This event might become an opening point to the formation a potential community. Does that resonate with you at all? 

JS: I think the community is already there, it is about tapping into it and maintaining relationships, connecting people and making things happen.

 

S: And to follow up on that idea of community and sharing, where do you see the meeting points between your series and Splacer? 

JS: For me, Splacer is about discovery; it is about opening the doors to the aesthetic treasures that hide behind walls of New York. It is about the possibilities of inspiring magic with unexpected environments.

Gaston Bachelard, in his book The Poetic of Space, talks about how interiors, architectural structure shape our memories and human experience. I am a huge believer in the power of the everyday, with a twist! I think Splacer carries this sensibility through their platform.

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Marianna, the Splacing Host. Photo by Katy Hallowell