The Insurgent Archive: A Conversation on Art and Institutional Practice with Mari Carmen Ramírez and Yasmin Ramirez

Feb 9, 2021, 5:00 pm6:30 pm



Event Description

Mari Carmen Ramírez is the Wortham Curator of Latin American Art and founding Director of the International Center for the Arts of the Americas (ICAA) at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH). A globally renowned authority on modern and contemporary Latin American art, Ramírez has published extensively and curated numerous exhibitions, including the award-winning Inverted Utopias: Avant-Garde Art in Latin America (2004, with Héctor Olea); Beatriz González: A Retrospective (with Tobias Ostrander, 2019); Hélio Oiticica: The Body of Color (2006); Contingent Beauty: Contemporary Art from Latin America (2015); HOME, So Different, So Appealing (with Chon Noriega and Pilar Tompkins, 2017); Joaquín Torres-García: Constructing Abstraction with Wood (Menil Foundation, 2009). She’s also conceptualized and implemented the ICAA Documents of 20th Century Latin American and Latino Art Project, a major digital archive and book series focused on primary sources. In 2005 Ramírez received the Award for Curatorial Excellence granted by the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College. That same year, TIME magazine named her one of “The 25 Most Influential Hispanics in America.”

Yasmin Ramirez holds a PhD in Art History from the Graduate Center, CUNY.  Born in Brooklyn, she was active in the downtown art scene of the early 1980s as a club kid and art critic for the East Village Eye. Attracted to street art and hip hop, she became acquainted with emerging artists and writers, many of whom are now icons of the 1980s. A self-described art worker, Dr. Ramirez is an advocate for progressive institutional change in the New York art world and academia.  Her critically acclaimed exhibitions and panels include: Pasado y Presente: Art after the Young Lords, 1969-2019 (2019); Home, Memory, and Future (2016); Martin Wong: Human Instamatic (2015); ¡Presente!: The Young Lords in New York (2015); The Puerto Rican Art Workers and the Construction of the Nuyorican Art Movement (2014); Re-Membering Loisaida: On Archiving and the Lure of the Retro Lens (2009); “Esto A Veces Tiene Nombre": Latin@ Art Collectives in a Post-Movement Millennium (2008); The Boricua in Basquiat (2005); Voices From Our Communities:  Perspectives on a Decade of Collecting at El Museo del Barrio (2000); Pressing the Point: Parallel Expressions in the Graphic Arts of the Chicano and Puerto Rican Movements (1999). Dr. Ramirez is currently writing a book on Latinx art movements and collectives in New York.

Irene Small, Art & Archaeology, Princeton University
Angela Brown, Art & Archaeology, Princeton University
Elise Chagas, Art & Archaeology, Princeton University

This event is part of the series:
Cura Continua
: Art, Curating, and Practices of Radical Care
A series of dialogues co-sponsored by the Program in Latin American Studies and the Department of Art & Archaeology

The word “curate” commonly describes the professional management, selection, and presentation of works of art. But the term’s etymology lies in the Latin "curare", meaning to care for, to heal, to cure.  This series of conversations underscores the critical significance of these connotations within contemporary artistic practices in Latin America and its diasporas. To curate, in this sense, is not simply to care for works of art. It is to care for relations between artists, institutions, and histories; to attend to discontinuities in these relations; to weave and sustain networks; to navigate institutional structures in ways that allow for opacity and insurgency alike. Departing from their own practices of radical care within the curatorial field, speakers will address topics including the transformative role of museums and archives; the hemispheric and cross-racial commitments of Latin American and Latinx art; the imperatives of feminist, queer, anti-racist, and decolonial thought; and strategies of forming and imagining artistic community.

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