Latin America Art and Social Resistance in the Global/Glocal Perspective #2

9 December 2021, 10:00:00 pm

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Session Convenors

Taiane de Oliveira Elias, UFSM

Session Moderators

Veronica Tello, UNSW

Session Speakers

Ph.D. Candidate Jay Buchanan, Washington University in St. Louis
Ph. D, Guadalupe Álvarez de Araya Cid, Department of Art Theory, Faculty of Arts, University of Chile
Alexis Salas, New Mexico State University

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, religiosity and tradition. 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.

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PAPER #1
A Poetics of the Spiral: Cecilia Vicuña and the Recurring Potentialities of Precarity

PRESENTER
Ph.D. Candidate Jay Buchanan, Washington University in St. Louis

From her earliest documented artistic experiments as a teenager to her present practice at age seventy-three, Cecilia Vicuña dallies not with overcomplicated aesthetics. She instead takes up existential questions in small or temporary works, quotidian materials, and a poetics of brevity in her drawing, collage, fiber, sculpture, assemblage, installation, poetry (much of it concrete/visual poetry, but not all), theater, performance, painting, sound, film, and video art. Her ongoing creative activism emphasizes the precarity of power and the limitations of the “human,” keying in on the ways in which environmental violence is gendered and raced. Insightful responses to Vicuña’s practice abound, with art historians and literary critics alike drawing out Vicuña’s insights on Chilean political realities as well as political ecologies which might transcend geopolitical delineation. This essay contributes to art historical and literary discourses around Vicuña by tracking the recurring spiral motif from her earliest installations, the basuritas, through her best-known precarios (or her Objects of the Chilean Resistance, 1973-), and Instan, a poetry collection first published in 2002. Taken together, Vicuña’s spiral works not only historicize forty years of recurrent Chilean political concerns, but also express the artist’s indigenous ecofeminist correctives to human-nonhuman relations.

PAPER #2
When dignity becomes a social demand. Paloma Rodríguez and the Chilean artists in 2019 social outbreak.

PRESENTER
Ph. D, Guadalupe Álvarez de Araya Cid, Department of Art Theory, Faculty of Arts, University of Chile

The aim of this paper is to analyse the materials and iconographies produced by the Chilean artists who joined the social movement popularly known as the “estallido social” (social outbreak), focusing in the work of Paloma Rodríguez. From October 18th 2019 to January 2020, Chile experienced the largest social unrest since the end of Pinochet’s dictatorship. Several artists participated in the protests, creating numerous images that worked both as representations of the social claims and demands, and as statements of the artist’s role in a contemporary society immersed in global and glocal determinations. These determinations involve technology and social networks as providers of new and productive formats that allows novel artist/spectator relationships as well as works of art with new material structures. At the same time, those artists who actively joined the social movement explored resistance rethorical expressions from the past; subverted the semantic fields of pop culture images and figures, and repurposed a number of new techniques borrowed from publicity and graphic design. Given their ephemeral nature, the works have disappeared, therefore, I’ll use on line collections kept by private institutions that understood their social and historical significance.

PAPER #3
“Con colores resistimos” : Queer Latin American and Latinx Art and Activism

PRESENTER
Alexis Salas, New Mexico State University

Puerto Rican artist Ruben Rolando’s assertion that “with colors we resist,” unfolds a dialogue about what/ how queer art and activism, especially Latin American and Latinx queer activism, manifests itself now. Might Latin American and Latinx queer tools for resistance be as conceptual as color and if so what does that mean about the dismantling them might enable? Historically grounding the query with the specific art and activism relationships that political movements such as the US Civil Rights movement, the international AIDS crisis, and marriage equality among them, this talk then moves on to ask how art and activism is currently, that is, if it must adhere to the forms (muralism, quilts, posters and paper ephemera) and spaces (direct contact with activist organizations) in order to enact activism or if concept and representation might be current forms. Thinking through how activism is differently enabled in an era of multiple platforms, the article further addresses how queer temporalities relate to the politics and history of the vast Latin American and Latinx region as part of a larger effort to examine the relationship of race, gender, and power as they pertain to material culture, contemporary self-expression, and art.



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.


Ph.D. Candidate Jay Buchanan, Washington University in St. Louis

Jay Buchanan is an emerging art historian, poet, theorist, and curator. He holds an MA from Washington University in St. Louis in Performance Studies, where he is currently enrolled in the doctoral program in Art History and Archaeology. His research coalesces around concerns of object performance, from queer- and feminist-of-color artists' intentional performances of objecthood as a strategy for survival and self-determination to network aesthetics in the art and the material culture of the Americas. Jay's poetry and criticism appear or are forthcoming in ASAP/J, Miranda, Theatre History Studies, About Place, Tesserae, Otoliths, Local Honey, and elsewhere.


Ph. D, Guadalupe Álvarez de Araya Cid, Department of Art Theory, Faculty of Arts, University of Chile

Guadalupe Álvarez de Araya Cid, PHD in American Studies, University of Santiago de Chile. Her fields are Latin American Art history and Latin American Art Criticism history. She teaches at under and post graduate levels and has several publications on Latin American Art Criticism history. Currently she is working on a History of Art Criticism in Chile (19th and 20th centuries), and two soon to be published books: The Transitivity of Images (Colombia-México, 1750-1850), the other about art terms in Latin America (1900-1980). She lives and works at Santiago de Chile.


Alexis Salas, New Mexico State University

Dr. Alexis Salas is an art historian of global modern and contemporary art with a specialization in in the Americas (Latin America and the Latinx United States). Her first book, Disparity at Play: The Artists and Projects of Temístocles 44 (Mexico City, 1991-2003), currently a manuscript in process, looks at how an artist collective in Mexico City used the conditions of neoliberalism to produce subversive collective projects. Her second book will focus on the relationship of art (practices, markets, patrons) and oil.