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In New York City in the late 1960s and 1970s, drag—the self-aware and hyperbolic performance of gender’s symbols and conventions—became a form of critical and public performance art. This talk will focus on three episodes in which queer and transgender artists developed performance practices that drew on their own experiences of street life, drag, and poverty. Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt, the Hot Peaches, and Stephen Varble each adapted a form of drag that was tactical, inexpensive, bold, and made for sidewalks rather than the stage. Challenging the nascent LGBT rights movement’s view of itself, these largely forgotten performance practices deployed street drag to confront elitism, to mock the pretensions of the wealthy, to seize public space, to demand the centrality of street life to LGBT politics, to disrupt the commercial art world, and to propose an expanded view of queer life.View this event in the Loop
"Freddy Rodriguez‘s Geometries: Diaspora, Networks, and Context" is part of the Curating Networks: From Latinx to Caribbean series, co-sponsored by the University Galleries and curated by Dr. Kaira M. Cabañas and Jesús Fuenmayor. It will also coincide with the University Galleries exhibition Vital and Veiled: Valerie Brathwaite and José Gabriel Fernández, which is sponsored by the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA) Artist Seminar Initiative and the UF School of Art and Art History and will be on view at the Gary R. Libby University Gallery from October 26, 2023 – January 26, 2024.
The artistic collaborative group Los Carpinteros produced some of the most commented and lauded works to come out of Havana in the 1990s. Placing virtuosic craftsmanship at the center of their work, they embodied a broader rejection of a movement, mostly characterized by an anti-aesthetic defiance, that preceded them on the island. In doing so, Cuban art of the 1990s engineered its own resurgence—in this incarnation, as internationally marketable art. In some tellings, it was this move of restoring the centrality of lowly craft—lowly as seen from the perspective of a contestatory conceptualism with no time for prettiness—that Cuban visual art became a moribund, useless project. On the other hand, this ‘return to the visual paradigm’ is offered in many accounts as key evidence of a new (political) maturity in the nation’s visual art. In these terms, it represented not a failure of nerve but a tactical retreat. In fact, such paradigmatically ‘visual’ work is declared to be the legitimate heir to the activism and audacity of the previous decade in Havana—albeit in a chastened, ‘strategic’ form. In the Cuban context, then, the form-content debate has a particular score to settle. How to understand this tangle? A look at some work by Los Carpinteros might help.
How do colonial creations circulate in the present? What are the ethics of keeping these works alive, remembered, valued? Focusing on modern practices of worship, conservation and collecting, this talk centers works from colonial Latin America, from sculptures of Christ to paintings on amate paper and imported prints. At issue are the ways that colonial histories are re-made and re-cast in the present via decisions about how to care for what once mattered dearly in the past.
A two-day symposium with a keynote address by Dr. Patricia Allmer, Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History, The University of Edinburgh
Women are active participants in devotional activities around the Himalayas today. Did women play any role in religious pursuits of the Himalayan communities during the second millennium? While we hear of many male monastic teachers, tantric practitioners, and royal patrons in historical records, it is rarer to find accounts of women’s active participation in the pre-modern religious life of the Himalayan region (today’s India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Tibet). Yet, both Hindu and Buddhist tantric practices that found strong footings in different parts of the Himalayas call for women’s participation in rituals, and goddesses play an important role in both Indic religions. While the development of the goddess cult does not necessarily mean the empowerment of women or elevation of women’s social status, a women-focused survey of visual records of religious donations in Himalayan art reveals patterns of gender dynamics and differentiation that shed light on active roles women played in spiritual pursuits, which tantalizingly coincides with the observation of tantric practices and the Goddess cult in the Indian sub-continent and the Himalayas. This lecture will survey images of women both human and divine in Buddhist and Hindu art of Nepal, Indian Himalayas and beyond. It will demonstrate how historical women whose names are now largely forgotten played a crucial role in uplifting the spiritual wellbeing of their partners and families as wives and mothers, just as divine mothers, like the goddess Prajñāpāramitā and the goddess Vajrayoginī, played a foundational role in their spiritual sons’ quests for transcendence.
|Thu, Sep 28, 2023
Chic Radicals: Street Drag as Critical Performance Art in the late 1960s and 1970s
David J. Getsy, Eleanor Shea Professor of Art History, University of VirginiaChandler Auditorium at the Harn Museum of Art
|Thu, Oct 26, 2023
Freddy Rodriguez’s Geometries: Diaspora, Networks, and Context
E. Carmen Ramos, Chief Curatorial and Conservation Officer, National Gallery of ArtFine Arts B, Room 105
|Thu, Nov 2, 2023
Los Carpinteros and the Meaning of Beauty: An Argument about Activism and Visuality in Cuban Art
Rachel Weiss, Professor Emerita, School of the Art Institute of ChicagoChandler Auditorium at the Harn Museum of Art
|Thu, Feb 29, 2024
Release and Recuperation: Caring for the Colonial in Latin America
|Fri, Mar 22, 2024
Surrealism, Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
Patricia Allmer, Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History, The University of EdinburghChandler Auditorium at the Harn Museum of Art
|Thu, Apr 18, 2024
Of Mothers, Wives, and Goddesses: Looking for Women in the Art of the Himalayas
Jinah Kim, George P. Bickford Professor of Indian and South Asian Art, Harvard UniversityChandler Auditorium at the Harn Museum of Art