Our Island Here: Strategies of Relation in Contemporary Art and Curating

Mar 23, 2021, 6:00 pm8:00 pm



Event Description
A Conversation with Marina Reyes Franco, Thomas Lax, Miguel López, and Thiago de Paula Souza

Marina Reyes Franco,
Curator, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico (MAC), San Juan
Thomas Lax, Curator, Media and Performance, MoMA, New York
Miguel López, Writer and Independent Curator, Lima
Thiago de Paula Souza, Independent Curator and Educator, São Paulo

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

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Cura Continua: Art, Curating, and Practices of Radical Care II
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.

Marina Reyes Franco is a Curator at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico (MAC). In 2010, she co-founded La Ene, an itinerant museum and collection based in Buenos Aires. Some curatorial projects include La clave / la llave, a Tony Cruz Pabón solo exhibition at MAC; De Loíza a la Loíza, a MAC en el Barrio public art commission by Daniel Lind Ramos; Resisting Paradise, Publica, San Juan and Fonderie Darling, Montreal; Watch your step / Mind your head, ifa-Galerie Berlin; The 2nd Grand Tropical Biennial in Loiza, Puerto Rico; C32: Sucursal, MALBA in Buenos Aires, and numerous exhibitions at La Ene. As curator and researcher, she has focused on the work of Esteban Valdes, artistic and literary manifestations on the frontier of political action, and the impact of tourism in cultural production in the Caribbean. She received the 2017 CPPC Travel Award for Central America and the Caribbean and was nominated for ICl’s 2014 Independent Vision Curatorial Award. 

Thomas J. Lax is Curator of Media and Performance at MoMA (NY) where he is currently preparing the exhibition Just Above Midtown: 1974 to the Present with Linda Goode Bryant. He was the inaugural recipient of the Cisneros Research Grant, traveling to Brazil to meet artists and curators engaged in creating semi-autonomous spaces devoted to contemporary black art. He also worked with colleagues across MoMA on a major rehang of the museum’s collection and organized Unfinished Conversations centered around John Akomfrah’s video portrait of the cultural theorist Stuart Hall. Previously, he worked at the Studio Museum in Harlem for seven years. Thomas is on the board of Danspace Project and the Jerome Foundation and teaches at Wesleyan University’s Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance. A native New Yorker, he is on the advisory committees of local and diasporic organizations including Contemporary And, The Laundromat Project, Participant Inc., and Recess Assembly.

Miguel A. López is a writer, researcher and curator. His work investigates collaborative dynamics and feminist re-articulations of art and culture in recent decades. Between 2015-2020 he worked at TEOR/éTica, Costa Rica, first as Chief Curator, and since 2018 as Co-director. He has published in periodicals such as ArtforumAfterallramonaE-flux journalArt in AmericaArt JournalManifesta Journal, among others. He is the author of Ficciones disidentes en la tierra de la misoginia (Pesopluma, 2019) and Robar la historia. Contrarrelatos y prácticas artísticas de oposición (Metales Pesados, 2017). He has recently curated “Cecilia Vicuña, a retrospective exhibition” at Witte de With, Rotterdam, 2019, and MUAC-UNAM, Mexico City, 2020; and “Victoria Cabezas and Priscilla Monge: Give Me What You Ask For” at Americas Society, New York, 2019. In 2016 he was recipient of the Independent Vision Curatorial Award from ICI (Independent Curators International), New York.

Thiago de Paula Souza is an independent curator and educator, with a background in the social sciences, which resides and works in Taboão da Serra district of São Paulo. His curatorial research engages with artistic practices that are focused on strategies of both refusal and collaboration as tools against neoliberal co-opting mechanisms.In 2018/2019 he was one of the fellows in BAK’s post-academic Fellowship Program, and he is curator of the exhibition Tony Cokes: To Live as Equals. With curator Gabi Ngcobo, De Paula Souza created the platform I’ve seen your face before, as part of the project Echoes of South Atlantic for  Goethe Institut. De Paula Souza was a member of the curatorial team of the 10th Berlin Biennial, entitled We Don’t Need Another Hero. Currently he is co-curating the 3rd edition of Frestas – Triennial of Arts, in Sorocaba, São Paulo.