Latin America Art and Social Resistance in the Global/Glocal Perspective #1

8 December 2021, 10:00:00 pm

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Session Convenors

Tatiane de Oliveira Elias, Independent scholar

Session Moderators

Tatiane de Oliveira Elias, Independent scholar

Session Speakers

Rachele Airoldi, El Colegio de México University
Jesse Rocha, University of California, Riverside

The theme of this session is art and social resistance in Latin America and Caribbean in the era of post colonialism and global/glocal perspective. We will therefore look at Latin America and Caribbean contemporary artists whose work blends art, politics, democracy, resistance and identity. Artists in different contexts, and particularly in Latin America and Caribbean countries, have increasingly positioned themselves to usher in political and social change, in areas ranging from climate change and dictatorship to human rights. The current political crises, the coronavirus 19 pandemic crisis and its consequences for the Latin America economy and democracy, as well as the social struggles that lead to large influxes of Latin America migrants into the United States, Europa and Australia and massive flow of immigration from Venezuela, Nicaragua and Haiti has inspired many artists. The panel will discuss crucial themes such as social and cultural identity, minority identities, ancestrality. It will also highlight initiatives by artists who have demonstrated how art can break down barriers and be more inclusive in terms of reframing minorities. In this panel, we will discuss the importance of maintaining the Latin American historical memory and raise questions about preserving the history of the Latino identity.

PAPER #1
“Los encargados”: four voices from guatemalan contemporary art

PRESENTER
Rachele Airoldi, El Colegio de México (University)

“Los encargados” (the appointees), this is how Miguel Angel Asturias defined the artists in his book-length poem Clarivigilia Primaveral (1965). The artists, according to the guatemalan Literature Nobel Prize, are those in charge of building a new society, just and free from discrimination. This is what we perceived visiting the Bienal Arte Paiz 2021, one of the first international art exhibition that reopened “in presence” after the Covid closure (Guatemala, May-June 2021). The artists exposing in this Bienal are undermining the actual status quo, suggesting a new social scaffolding as a clear example of how art in Latin America assumes a peculiar responsibility becoming a special vehicle for social resistance - what we call “artivismo”. This synergy between art and social discourse – especially that delivered form an indigenous standpoint- takes a particular shape in the works of four guatemalan artists: Angélica Serech, Marilyn Boror, Ángel Poyón and Alejandro Paz. Is it necessary to renounce to our indigenous identity in order to live in this modern world? What are they really saying under the folkloristic mask that suffocates their words? Can we still listen to the “voice” of the objects as were able to do our ancestors? Art becomes a way to rediscover our ancestral identity.

PAPER #2
AIDS Art in Brazil: Defying Suppression and Refusing Complacency

PRESENTER
Jesse Rocha, University of California, Riverside

When the AIDS epidemic struck the global community, Brazil was heralded for its dynamic and effective prevention strategies; despite the fame afforded to the institutional campaigns of the 1990’s, Brazilian artwork made during the initial breakout of HIV remains obscure. While art of the United States AIDS crisis is now widely-researched, there is little significant analysis of the response of Brazilian artists to the epidemic. The artistic output of activists and figures such as Hudinilson Jr., Leonilson, and Rafael França during the 1980’s documents the emotional and political responses of the queer community to the precarious state of the crisis. This paper analyzes the works produced by these artists through a framework of emotion and embodiment, interpreting the queer affective experience of both artist and audience and how a political dialogue is produced. By utilizing vanguard artistic mediums, employing a distinctly and even defiantly queer visual language, and illuminating the emotional toll brought on by communal death and destruction, these artists used their artistic platforms to navigate a world of heteronormativity and to motivate their audiences towards action. Analyzing this body of work brings a crucial era of queer Brazilian art out of obscurity.

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Biographies

Tatiane de Oliveira Elias, Independent scholar

Tatiane de Oliveira Elias is a post-doctoral fellow at Porto University, Portugal. She is currently teaching at the Federal University of Santa Maria (UFSM) in Brazil. Her research interests are contemporary Brazilian Art, Global Art, Latin American Art. From 2004 to 2008, she studied Art History at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. In 2008, she studied abroad at the Venice International University (VIU). In 2003, she received her MA in Art History from the University of Campinas, Brazil. She earned her PhD (2014) in Art History at the State Academy of Art and Design in Stuttgart, Germany.


Rachele Airoldi, El Colegio de México (University)

I am an italo-guatemalan PHD student in latin american literature at El Colegio de México. My research area is central american art and literature. I worked in the curatorship and organization of several central american and caribbean national pavilions at La Biennale di Venezia (Guatemala, Grenada, Dominican Republic). Recently I was part of the staff in the Bienal Arte Paiz of Guatemala (May 2021). I am currently working in the exposition of the Cattelani Collection in Villa Carlotta, Como Lake (July September 2021, Italy).


Jesse Rocha, University of California, Riverside

Jesse Rocha is currently a second-year Art History Masters student at the University of California, Riverside, studying the art of contemporary Latin America, with a particular focus in Brazil. His thesis research analyzes the visual and material culture of the AIDS epidemic through the lens of emotions, affect, representation, and community activism. He is interested in how identity, marginalization, and transgression manifest in Latin American art during the second half of the twentieth century.