Cristina Freire: Decolonize the Museum: Utopia?

Wed, Mar 13, 2019, 12:00 pm

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Brazil’s colonial wound stems from the major violence visited against indigenous and Afro-diasporic peoples. As an optical instrument at the service of modernity, the Museum of Modern Art in Brazil has made invisible these processes of coloniality. However, some examples of intellectual in-conformism from the past bring the defense of the popular in education and art to the present. They are largely unrealized or suspended projects, such as Lina Bo Bardi’s Museum of Popular Art, Mario Pedrosa’s critical writings concerning the Museum of Origins, and Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of Freedom. These ideas could not be fully realized at their time, and remain as indexes of interrupted histories that reappear in the work of some contemporary artists and exhibition installation projects.

Cristina Freire is Full Professor and Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art of the University of São Paulo (MAC USP). She was co-curator of the 27th Bienal de São Paulo (2006) and Deputy Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art of the University of São Paulo (MAC USP) from 2010-2014. She was Chair of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Aesthetics and Art History University of São Paulo (2015-2016), and is currently a researcher of the National Research Council (Conselho Nacional de Pesquisa. Cnpq, Brazil). Her books include Beyond maps: Monuments in the urban contemporary imaginary (São Paulo, Annablume, 1997); Poetics of Process: Conceptual art in the Museum (São Paulo: Ed. Iluminuras, 1999); Conceptual Art (Rio de Janeiro: Jorge Zahar Editor, 2006) and Paulo Bruscky: Art, Archive and Utopia (Recife: CEPE, 2007). She has also edited Walter Zanini: Critical Writings (São Paulo, Annablume, 2013), which received the Jabuti Prize for the Best book in Art and Architecture published in 2013 in Brazil.  She currently directs two research tracks at the graduate Interdisciplinary Program on Aesthetics and Art History at the University of São Paulo (Brazil): Theory and Criticism of Contemporary Art and Latin America: Laboratory of Research. She is also the director of the GEACC, a Research Group on Conceptual Art and Conceptualisms in the Museum, of the National Council of Research (CNPq), which organizes seminars and publications and stimulates collaboration and solidarity between students and faculty. Freire teaches courses that focus on artistic practices and institutional and collective memories in Brazil and Latin America, with a focus on the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Photo: Lina Bo Bardi. Museum of Popular Art. Salvador, Bahia, 1963

Lunch provided. Free and open to the public.

Location: 
216 Burr Hall
Speaker(s):