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Independent Curators International supports the work of curators to help create stronger art communities through experimentation, collaboration, and international engagement.

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“Vagabond Poetics”: Miguel A. López and Cecilia Vicuña in Conversation

Miguel A. López and Cecilia Vicuña working on the publication "Cecilia Vicuña. Seehearing the Enlightened Failure", Kunstinstituut Melly (formerly known as Witte de With), Rotterdam, May 2019. (Photo: Jeroen Lavèn).

Jun 5, 2024
6:30–8 pm

New York, NY, USA
Powerhouse Arts

322 Third Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11215


FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
DOORS OPEN 6:15PM
RSVP ENCOURAGED

Miguel A. López and Cecilia Vicuña working on the publication "Cecilia Vicuña. Seehearing the Enlightened Failure", Kunstinstituut Melly (formerly known as Witte de With), Rotterdam, May 2019. (Photo: Jeroen Lavèn).

“I am writing this letter to keep from writing about you in the third person. It is getting harder and harder for me to put myself in the position of a distant observer who interprets your works. I would rather keep conversing with you, though I must confess that the words are weighing me down this time. Instead of letters, I would prefer to be the red thread with which you tie bodies or the sounds with which you blur the limit between past and present…” – Miguel A. López, “A letter to Cecilia Vicuña’s Vagabond Poetics”

Over the past decade, curator Miguel A. López and poet, artist, and activist Cecilia Vicuña have developed a close friendship through working together, including on two traveling retrospectives of Vicuña’s work. In this very special program, the artist and the curator will explore how that relationship has impacted both of their practices and opened up new possibilities. Some of their major collaborations include Seehearing the Enlightened Failure—the artist’s first retrospective exhibition, which was organized by Kunsinstituut Melly and presented in Rotterdam, Mexico City, Madrid, and Bogota between 2019-2022 —and Dreaming Water: A Retrospective of the Future (1964-...), which is currently on view at Pinacoteca do Estado in São Paulo, Brazil. Vicuña's work is also currently on view as part of ICI's traveling exhibition Actions for the Earth: Art, Care, and Ecology.

Taking this friendship as his starting point, López will begin the evening by presenting a personal letter addressed to Vicuña, intertwining personal memories with archival materials in a reading of her work that highlights the role of intimacy, trust, and affectivity in curatorial practice. The letter format pushes back against the strictures of traditional academic discourse to offer a unique perspective on both Vicuña’s practice and the generative potential of long-term artist-curator collaborations.

Then, Vicuña will join López for a conversation celebrating proximity and the mutual care that curatorship, at its best, can offer. The two will discuss their unique collaborative process and the transformative impact of their friendship.

This program is free and open to the public. Live ASL interpretation is available at this event. Please indicate in your RSVP if you require ASL interpretation. Masks are encouraged.

RSVP

Presenters
Miguel A. López

Miguel A. López is a writer and curator. He is currently co-curator of the 2024 Toronto Biennial "Precarious Joys."

Cecilia Vicuña

Cecilia Vicuña is a poet, performer, and sound and visual artist, who coined the concept of arte precario (or "precarious art") in the 1960s in response to pressing concerns of the modern world, including ecological destruction, human rights, and cultural homogenization.


Credits
This program is made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with City Council. Support for this program is also provided by the William Talbott Hillman Foundation.