NEVER SPOKEN AGAIN Curators’ Talk with David Ayala-Alfonso

Virtual Opening Lecture
Thursday, June 17
Telfair Museums, Jepson Center Online
Savannah, Georgia 

Never Spoken Again is a traveling exhibition that reflects on the birth of modern collections, the art institutions that sustain them and their contingent origin stories. In considering how institutional collections organize our lives, Never Spoken Again brings together artists whose works open up a critique of material culture, iconography, and political ecologies. These practices examine not only the collected objects and the systems of distribution that facilitate their circulation but also the disciplines and subjects of study that they trade in.

Watch the video below to hear from curator David Ayala-Alfonso, with artists Sofia de Grenade and Beatriz Santiago Muñoz for a discussion on this exhibition and their practices that questions the underpinnings of modern collections and the political ecologies of resource extraction.

Click here to learn more about ICI’s traveling exhibition, Never Spoken Again.  

Image credit: Never Spoken Again: Rogue Stories of Science and Collections, installation view at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, East Lansing, 2020. Photo: Eat Pomegranate Photography. Courtesy of MSU Broad and ICI.

July 27, 2021


David Ayala-Alfonso

David Ayala-Alfonso is a Colombian Curator, Artist, and Researcher working between Bogotá and London. He is a guest curator at the traveling exhibitions program of Independent Curators International, and part of the editorial teams of Journal of Visual Culture, Cultural Anthropology and {{em_rgencia}. Ayala-Alfonso has been Curator in Residence and Academic Coordinator at FLORA ars+natura in Bogotá, and lectured in different art schools in the US and Colombia. He has published books and articles on interface theory, Latin American art history, artist-run spaces, performance studies, visual studies, urban sociology, anthropology of education and artistic interventions in the public realm. He is also an occasional collaborator for different academic publications as a writer and a translator. Recent work as a curator and as part of the art collective Grupo 0,29 has been featured at Museos de Arte at Banco de la República in Bogotá, South London Gallery, the David Rockefeller Center at Harvard University, the BMW Guggenheim Lab, Concordia University in Montreal, Columbia College in Chicago, and Centro Cultural La Moneda in Santiago. He has been awarded the Fulbright Grant, the AICAD post-graduate Teaching Fellowship, the ICI-Dedalus Award for Curatorial Research and the Early-concept Grant for Exploratory Research at SAIC. Ayala-Alfonso holds a MA in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Specialization in Art Education from the National University of Colombia, and is preparing publications on critical heritage, and art in the public realm to be released in 2019.

Sofia de Grenade

Sofia de Grenade (Chile, 1983) holds a BA from Universidad Austral de Chile. Her exhibitions include FIX 07, Catalyst Art, Belfast, Northern Ireland, 2007, and La Timidez de las Cosas, Espacio de Arte Contemporáneo (EAC), Montevideo, 2014. In addition to her work as a visual artist, she works on educational programs with communities from rural areas in Southern Chile. In this context, she uses self-publication strategies to develop tools to generate collective learning processes. Since 2014, her artistic work has been linked to her collective Sagrada Mercancía, with whom she has participated in different processes and public presentations. De Grenade’s latest works have been developed from an environmental research interest, using diverse media such as photography, installation and printed publications.

Beatriz Santiago Muñoz

Beatriz Santiago Muñoz is an artist based in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Her work arises out of long periods of observation, research and documentation, in which the camera is present as an object with social implications, and as an instrument mediating aesthetic thought. Her films frequently start out through research into specific social structures or events, which she transforms into collaborative work, performance and moving image. Santiago Muñoz’s recent work has been concerned with the material and physical trace of abstract political ideas, particularly post-military spaces, and the relationship between new landscapes and social forms. Recent exhibitions include: MATRULLA, Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros, México City; Under the Same Sun: Art From Latin America Today, Guggenheim Museum of Art; Post-Military Cinema, Transmission Gallery for Glasgow International; The Black Cave, Gasworks, London; Capp Street Project: Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, CCA Wattis; Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Trinh T Minh-Ha & Gregorio Rocha, TATE Film and VII Bienal do Mercosul. She is also co-founder of Beta-Local, an arts organization in San Juan, Puerto Rico and director of Sessions, a series of intensive seminars anchored in the specific geography, emerging art practices, and social and political conditions of Puerto Rico. Recent exhibitions include: The Black Cave, Gasworks, 2013 in collaboration with the Tate Modern, London; A Universe of Fragile Mirrors, Pérez Art Museum Miami, Miami, FL, 2016; A Universe of Fragile Mirrors, El Museo del Barrio, New York, NY, 2017. Song, Strategy, Sign, New Museum, NY, NY, 2017. The 2017 Whitney Biennial, New York, NY; and Condo New York, New York, NY, 2017.

Part of Never Spoken Again: Rogue Stories of Science and Collections

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