Hybrid Topographies - Encounters from Latin America

Image: Karina Aguilera Skvirsky.

Hybrid Topographies - Encounters from Latin America
Tuesday, May 1, 2018
ICI Curatorial Hub

401 Broadway, Suite 1620
FREE and open to the public


Curatorial Intensive alumna Monica Espinel will be in conversation with artists Carlos Castro Arias, Nicole Franchy, and Karina Aguilera Skvirsky to discuss the exhibition, Hybrid Topographies (on view February 13–May 14, 2018 at Deutsche Bank Gallery).

Hybrid Topographies presents narratives by fourteen contemporary artists from Latin America whose work stems from a place of encounters as a means to understand the other and as potential sites for change and transformation. The agency of artists is at play in works ranging from Claudia Andujar’s documentation of the Yanomami people of the Amazon to Jesús “Bubu” Negrón’s use of the marimbula, a percussion instrument from the Caribbean, as a tool for community building. 

Central to the artist’s practice is a strong interest in history, the legacy of colonialism, a quest for their roots and an engagement with the landscape, whether urban or rural. Combining both new and historical sources and materials, the artists employ hybridity not only as a conceptual framework but also as a way to blur the boundaries across media to address questions of representation, identity, invisibility and otherness. Artists like Carlos Castro Arias, William Cordova and María Elvira Escallón bring symbols from the past into the present, collapsing temporalities to signal the cultural hybridity and diversity of Latin America’s people, and a modern vernacular forged by shared co-existence.


This event is free and open to the public. To attend, please RSVP to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with HYBRID in the subject line.


This event is accessible to people with mobility disabilities. Please contact ICI for additional accessibility needs.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

May 1, 2018

ICI Curatorial Hub
401 Broadway, Suite 1620
New York, NY 10013


Mónica Espinel

Monica Espinel is an independent curator and writer specialized in Modern and Contemporary Art from Latin America.  She is currently a guest curator for Artpace in San Antonio and a Ph.D. candidate in the History of Art at The Graduate Center, City University of New York.  She has experience working internationally in museums, galleries, alternative art spaces, biennials, auction houses, art fairs, and philanthropy; and has been navigating curatorial practice and collaboration across various institutional (Metropolitan Museum, Bronx Museum, Whitney Museum, Liverpool Biennial, Artpace) and commercial platforms (Marvelli Gallery, Wildenstein, Latincollector, Phillips, Deutsche Bank, Armory Show, SP-Arte, ArtRio) for over a decade.  She cultivates long-term relationships with artists and employs postcolonial and feminist theory to advocate for artists from Latin America. Her research interests include issues of representation, international artistic networks, the intersection of art and politics, the body, film, literature, performance, and visual culture.

Curatorial projects include: ‘‘Black Milk: Theories on Suicide’’ (Marvelli Gallery, New York, 2004), ‘‘Carmen Herrera - Estructuras’’ (Latincollector, New York, 2008), ‘‘Memory Leaks’’ (Creon, New York, 2010), “Photographic Treasures from the Collection of Alfred Stieglitz” (curatorial assistant, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011), “Rituals of Chaos” (Bronx Museum of the Arts, 2012), “The Skin I Live In” (SP-Arte, 2013), “Bruno Miguel: Todos à Mesa” (Galeria Emma Thomas, São Paulo, 2015) and “Hybrid Topographies - Encounters from Latin America” (Deutsche Bank, New York, 2018). 

Espinel was a Mentor for the Associate Artists program of the Liverpool Biennial (2016-18) and is the recipient of numerous awards including ArtTable’s Diversity Grant to be a curatorial fellow at Wave Hill (2009), a Milton & Sally Avery Arts Foundation Curatorial Fellowship at the Bronx Museum of the Arts (2010), and a Roswell L. Gilpatric Award to work in the department of Photographs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2011). 
She has participated in curatorial workshops in Asia, Europe, and South America; lectured and published widely; and her writing has been featured in ArtNexus, Arte al Dia, Flash Art and

Espinel holds a BS in psychology from Florida International University and an MA in Art History from Hunter College, where she wrote her thesis about Mexican photojournalist Enrique Metinides.

Carlos Castro Arias

Carlos Castro Arias (b. Bogota, Colombia) is an interdisciplinary artist interested in creating new narratives and recovering suppressed histories through the appropriation and re-contextualization of found images and objects. Castro received a BA from the Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Bogota and an MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute. His solo exhibitions include The Language of Dead Things, Espacio el Dorado (2017), Stagnant Heritage, MUZAC Monteria (2015), Old News of the Present (2014) 21st Projects, NYC, Accidental Beauty, Museo Santa Clara, Bogota (2013). Notable group exhibitions include Open Art Biennale, Sweden (2017); Liquid Sensibilities, Cisneros Foundation Grants and Commissions, USA (2016); Space To Dream, Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand (2016); X Mercosur Biennale, Porto Alegre, Brazil (2015); and O que seria do mundo sem as coisas que não existem?, Frestas Trienal, Sorocaba, Brazil (2014), amongst others.  His musical projects include POPO (2000) and Los Claudios de Colombia (2005-17).

Nicole Franchy

Nicole Franchy (b. Lima, Peru) lives and works between New York and Lima. She completed her Bachelor’s Degree at the Escuela de Bellas Artes Corriente Alterna, Lima, and a Postgraduate Degree at The HISK Higher Institute for Fine Arts, Ghent. In 2015-2017 she was an artist in residency at the International Studio & Curatorial Program, New York and was selected for the EFG-Art Nexus International Art Prize in 2014. Her solo exhibitions include Ocaso - Sunset, Sala Luis Miro-Quesada Garland, Lima (2016); Vertical Horizons, The Chimney, New York (2016); Boundary – Lugar Desconocido, Galería El Ojo Ajeno, Lima (2013); The Visitor, HISK, Ghent (2011); Satellite Cities, Galeria Vertice, Lima (2008) and Urbania, Galería 5006, Buenos Aires (2007). Recent group exhibitions include America, Ludlow 67, New York (2016); Criminalidad y Criminalización, Galería del Centro Cultural Universidad de Lima (2016); Ashes, Nova Invaliden Galerie, Berlin (2016); La Encomienda: Nueva Fotografía Peruana, Galería Marta Traba, São Paulo (2015); Theorem, Mana Contemporary, New Jersey (2015); and Tierra de Nadie, Galería Gonzalez y Gonzalez, Lima (2014).

Karina Aguilera Skvirsky

Karina Aguilera Skvirsky (b. Providence, RI, USA) is a multi-disciplinary artist based in New York who works in photography, video and performance. In 2015 she was awarded a Fulbright fellowship and a Jerome Foundation grant to produce “The Perilous Journey of Maria Palacios,” a performance-based film and “The Railroad Workers,” a series of photographic collages. The video premiered at the 2016 Cuenca Biennial, Ecuador. Skvirsky’s work has been exhibited internationally in group and solo exhibitions at Deutsche Bank, NY, NY (2018), The Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2016), Hansel & Gretel Picture Garden Pocket Utopia, NY (2014), DPM Gallery, Guayaquil, Ecuador (2014), Instituto Cervantes, Rome (2013), The Montclair Art Museum, NJ (2013), Stephan Stoyanov Gallery, NY (2013), DPM Gallery, Guayaquil, Ecuador (2012), 29th São Paulo Biennial (2010), La Ex-Culpable, Lima, Peru (2010) and others. Skvirsky is an Associate Professor of Art at Lafayette College, Easton, PA and an MFA faculty member at The New School, Parsons School of Design, New York.

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