Magic Studies

Image: Design by fliegende Teilchen, Berlin, Magic Block.

Magic Studies
Presented by Soledad García Saavedra, Brandon LaBelle, and Cecilia Vicuña
Wednesday, June 15
ICI Curatorial Hub

401 Broadway, Suite 1620
FREE and open to the public

Curatorial Intensive alumna Soledad García Saavedra, along with artists Brandon LaBelle and Cecilia Vicuña, will lead an open seminar titled Magic Studies.

Inspired by the enigmatic and suggestive notions of the haunted and the disappeared, the seminar will examine the powers and poetics of magic. Magic Studies will draw upon works and perspectives from Magic Block (January 18-March 2, 2016), the exhibition and accompanying publication of contemporary Chilean art, curated and edited by García and LaBelle. Central to the seminar is a concern for the ways in which social struggles may find support through practices that rely upon the resonances of bodily performance, indigenous or ancestral beliefs, or forms of the black arts. Using examples of recent Chilean art and poetry, among others, Magic Studies will reveal the complex legacies and related “ghostings” of particular histories, forgotten or unknown voices, as well as the pathways found through imaginative means that enable acts of resistance and sharing in artistic and curatorial practices.

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

June 15, 2016

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


Soledad García

Soledad García Saavedra is an art historian and curator. Since 2010, she is curator-coordinator of the Visual Arts Centre of documentation of the Cultural Centre Palacio La Moneda (CCPLM)in Santiago de Chile, where she develops programs to encourage the study of archival documents in different formats (digital or physical) through open calls, seminars, workshops and shows. Her practice crosses the work with documents, suspended or loss histories, and the capabilities to reenact into the present. Among her recent curatorial projects are shows on the resonances of the critical pop culture in South America at the Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende (2016) and the on-going research Magic Block, co-curated with Brandon LaBelle, examining the invisible aesthetics and poetics of the hidden, camouflaged, inmaterial and erasured (2014-current). She has been co-curator of retrospective exhibition of Chilean artists such as, Matta: Centenario 11-11-11 (CCPLM, 2011), Marta Colvin, desde el taller (Fundación Telefónica, 2007) and several collective shows with special interest on the urgent issues of unstable realities and the subjective experiences. She is co-editor of books Magic Block (2015); Essays on Visual Arts. Practices and discourses in the 70s and 80s in Chile, Vol. I –IV, (2011-2015, only in Spanish); Adam’s apple of Paz Errazuriz (2014). She regularly gives workshops and lectures on curating, memory and archives, and is currently lecturer at the Universidad Alberto Hurtado, Santiago de Chile. García Saavedra holds a master degree in Curating (Goldsmiths College) and is an ICI Curatorial Intensive alumna. She lives in Santiago de Chile.

Brandon LaBelle

Brandon LaBelle is an artist, writer and theorist working with questions of social life and cultural agency, using sound, performance, text and sited constructions. He develops and presents artistic projects and performances within a range of international contexts, often working in public. This leads to interventions and performative installations, archival work, and micro-actions aimed at the sphere of the (un)common and the unlikely. He is also an active lecturer working with institutions around the world addressing questions of auditory culture, sonic and spatial arts, experimental media practices and the voice. Current research projects focus on voicing and choreographies of the mouth, sonic materiality and auditory knowledge, and the aesthetics and politics of invisibility. His work has been presented at the South London Gallery (2016), Tel Aviv University Art Gallery (2015), Marrakech Biennial, parallel project (2014), General Public, Berlin (2013), The Whitney Museum, NY (2012), Image Music Text, London (2011), Sonic Acts, Amsterdam (2010), A/V Festival, Newcastle (2008, 2010), Tramway, Glasgow (2010), among others. Also a prolific writer, he is the author of Lexicon of the Mouth: Poetics and Politics of Voice and the Oral Imaginary (2014), Diary of an Imaginary Egyptian (2012), Acoustic Territories: Sound Culture and Everyday Life (2010), and Background Noise: Perspectives on Sound Art (2015; 2006). Through his work with Errant Bodies Press, he has co-edited the anthologies Site of Sound: Of Architecture and the Ear Volumes 1 & 2 (1999, 2011), Writing Aloud: The Sonics of Language (2001), Surface Tension: Problematics of Site (2003) and Radio Territories (2007), along with a series of monographs (Critical Ear series) on sound and media artists. He has various audio releases on international experimental music labels, and regularly produces works for radio, notably for Kunstradio in Vienna (1999, 2001, 2007, 2009) and Deutschland Radio (2009). He lives in Berlin and is Professor at the Bergen Academy of Art and Design, Norway.

Cecilia Vicuña

Cecilia Vicuña is a poet, artist, filmmaker and activist. Her work addresses pressing concerns of the modern world including ecological destruction, human rights, and cultural homogenization. Born and raised in Santiago de Chile, she has been in exile since the early 1970s, after the military coup against elected president Salvador Allende. Vicuña began creating “precarious works” and quipus in the mid 60’s in Chile, as a way of “hearing an ancient silence waiting to be heard.”  Her multidimensional works begin as a poem, an image that morphs into a film, a song, a sculpture or a collective performance. These ephemeral, site specific installations in nature, streets and museums combine ritual and assemblage. She calls this impermanent, participatory work “lo precario” (the precarious); transformative acts that bridge the gap between art and life, the ancestral and the avant-garde. Some museums that have exhibited her work include: The Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; The Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de Santiago; The Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) London; Art in General in New York, NY; The Whitechapel Art Gallery in London; The Berkeley Art Museum; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. Vicuña has published twenty-two art and poetry books, including Kuntur Ko (Tornsound, 2015), Spit Temple, The Selected Performances of Cecilia Vicuña (Ugly Duckling Press, 2012), Instan (Kelsey Street Press, 2001) and Cloud Net (Art in General, 2000). Her Selected Poems is forthcoming from Kelsey Street Press, 2017. In 2009, she co-edited The Oxford Book of Latin American Poetry, 500 years of Latin American Poetry. She edited ÜL: Four Mapuche Poets in 1997. She was appointed Messenger Lecturer 2015 at Cornell University, an honor bestowed on authors who contribute to the “Evolution of Civilization for the special purpose of raising the moral standard of our political, business, and social life.” She divides her time between Chile and New York.

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