• co-convenor Erica Segre introduces artist Gerardo Suter 

    co-convenor Erica Segre introduces artist Gerardo Suter 

  • Assistant Director Seb Bustamante discussed recent acquisition by Eduardo Villanes

    Assistant Director Seb Bustamante discussed recent acquisition by Eduardo Villanes

  • Assistant Director Seb Bustamante discussed recent acquisition by Eduardo Villanes

    Assistant Director Seb Bustamante discussed recent acquisition by Eduardo Villanes

  • Director Jo Harwood  discussed recent acquisition by Alejandro Jaime

    Director Jo Harwood  discussed recent acquisition by Alejandro Jaime

ECO-IMAGINARIES AND THE BORDERS OF ART PRACTICE FROM IN LATIN AMERICA: MIGRATION, ACTIVISM, IDENTITY

9 March 2018

Dr Jo Harwood & Seb Bustamante Brauning presented on ESCALA's recent acquisitions during the one-day conference "Eco-imaginaries and the Borders of Art Practice from/in Latin America: Migration, Activism, Identity" at Trinity College, University of Cambridge.

Details of the Conference:

In association with CLAS, Spanish and Portuguese Department, School of Social Sciences and Humanities Student-Led Conference Fund and Trinity College, University of Cambridge.
Co-conveners: Erica Segre and Katie Mato.
Keynote speakers: Tania Bruguera and Gerardo Suter.

This international one-day symposium aims to explore redefinitions of the boundaries between art practice, activism in creative media and finality as a political effect, ill-defined and perhaps unsustainable boundaries that have been brought into relief through the phenomenon of displacement and exchange, as well as communitarian inceptions and eco-critical engagements. The aim is to conceive of the multiple domains of intersection as a way of rethinking influence, usage, authorship and dissent in relation to conflicted competencies. The work of artists, collectives, and community-based projects problematize the borders of socio-political art practices and deals directly/indirectly with themes of migration and identity, often via activist discourses that appear to have replaced reportage and docu-fictive paradigms previously borrowed and interjected by the self-reflective arts and the testimonial turn. Tania Bruguera’s most recent theorization of an artmaking of circumstance and social relevance, combined with her long-term projects on migration and her particular modality of dissent, eco-awareness and empowered ‘communality’, offers a timely opportunity to chart lines of fracture and affinity in contemporary art and curatorial practice in/from Latin America whereby social platforms and state-run cultural policies and institutions
may often ‘compete’ in the production of interaction and relational modalities. Gerardo Suter’s constructed photography and conceptual installation posits the fracturing of the neo-­liberal spaces of art and the possibility of grasping the ethical predicament rather than the pamphleteering opportunity, with a recurrent preoccupation with displacement and infringed borders in which art pursues critical dissemination but also altered states. Suter’s work often articulates intermedial synergies, interventions and materiality.

The interdisciplinary programme seeks to probe perspectives on discrepant art practices issuing from academia, art institutions, international artists, and grassroots activism. The topics covered will inform the current thought and literature on contemporary tropes of migration, postcoloniality, ecological colonialism, protest art, and the problematisation of visual media as it relates to identification, identity, and detection. How to recalibrate and differentiate useful from utilitarian, actual from relevant, autonomous from authentic, collective from communal, collaborative from participatory, aesthetic from creative, adherence from appropriation.

The symposium brings together speakers based in the UK, Latin America and USA, including artists, academics, curators and filmmakers. Individuals are exposed to public installations, interactive workshops, protests, and politically-charged images/texts every day, and we hope that this symposium will allow attendees to evaluate these phenomena and to rethink how ‘activist’ art or how ‘activating’ art has been and may yet be resorted to as a conceptual strategy or a practice with specific applications in Latin America, bridging and contrasting past and current precedents.

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