As part of the Latin America’s 1968 Colloquium series, New York University's Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS), Department of Spanish and Portuguese, The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, and The Institute of Fine Arts (IFA), are proud to present a conversation with internationally acclaimed Argentine performance and conceptual artist Marta Minujín and IFA's Deputy Director Edward Sullivan.
This event is free and open to the public. Ticket holders receive priority seating.
About the speakers:
Marta Minujín is an internationally acclaimed Argentine performance and conceptual artist whose career has helped define the role of participation, performance, and media in contemporary visual art. Minujín created her first “ephemeral” works in the 1960s in Paris and New York, where she and became an innovator of pop art, happenings, soft sculpture, and early video. Her celebrated La Menesunda (1965) created a sequence of 16 multi-sensory “situations” or environments for spectators to traverse; these included a beauty parlor, a couple in bed, and a shower of a confetti in an octagonal mirror chamber. Her 1967 Minuphone created an interactive “psychedelic” telephone booth in which voice triggered sensory changes in light, image, and sound. In May 1968—at the height of the cultural and political ferment of global 1968—Minujín hosted a series of soirèes/happenings with luminaries of fashion, art, finance, and politics at Manhattan’s Center for Inter-American Relations (now Americas Society); the documentation became the basis of an immersive film installation, known as Minucode, which advanced a subtle critique of the role of “cultural” diplomacy needed to carry out the US cold war in Latin America. While in New York she participated in activities at Andy Warhol’s Factory, and in the 1980s, created a performance in which she offered Warhol a corn on the cob as a way of paying off Argentina’s foreign debt. She is perhaps best known for the 1983 piece The Parthenon of Books, a large-scale replica of a Greek parthenon built on Buenos Aires’s main avenue, comprised of 30,000 books banned by the military regime during Argentina’s “Dirty War,” including works by Marx, Freud, and Foucault. Spectators were then invited to dismantle work. She has continued to create works that combine ephemeral materials with monumental scale, including Tower of Babel (2011), Agora of Peace (2013), and Hopscotch Art (2014). She lives and works in Buenos Aires.
Edward J. Sullivan is the Helen Gould Sheppard Professor in the History of Art and the Deputy Director of the Institute of Fine Arts New York University. He has developed extensive research and curated several shows on the arts and visual cultures of the Americas from a transnational perspective, with a particular concentration in Mexico, Cuba, Brazil, Argentina, Puerto Rico, and Uruguay. Edward is the author of From San Juan to Paris and Back: Francisco Oller and Caribbean Art in the Era of Impressionism, published by Yale University Press in 2014, and The Language of Objects in the Art of the Americas, published also by Yale in 2007, among many other books and catalogs.
Sullivan’s latest book is entitled “Making the Americas Modern. Hemispheric Art 1910-1960” published this past March. He is currently curating a major exhibition of the Brazilian garden architect and painter Roberto Burle-Marx that opens in June next year at the New York Botanical Garden. His next book project concerns the relationships between artists and choreographers in the US and Latin America in the mid twentieth century.
About the series:
Latin America’s 1968; Curated by Jill Lane & Dylon Robbins.
In Latin America, the year 1968 marked a turning point in the social, political, and cultural transformations that had been unfolding in the wide wake of the Cuban Revolution of 1959. For Latin America, as for the rest of the world, the sixties were shaped by geopolitics of the Cold War, and of anti-colonial struggles across the globe. Yet they are most remembered by those who lived them as a time when ordinary people felt, like never before and perhaps never after, that they could change the course of history: millions of youth in student movements, advocates for indigenous rights, workers, campesinos, educators, intellectuals, and artists, long with guerillas and other armed insurgents, were self-aware in world-historical projects of radical social, political, economic, and cultural change. In these years, the personal became the political, politics became theatrical, theatre became a weapon, and the lines between self, art, and politics were forever redrawn. To mark the 50th anniversary of this momentous year, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) offers a film and lecture series that will explore and celebrate its significance in the region.
Image: Marta Minujin | by Martin Lucesole | Flickr