Upcoming Event: Mediations & Collaborations with Susan Meiselas


Mediations & Collaborations: A Conversation with Susan Meiselas
Monday, September 10, 2018
Geballe Room, Townsend Center for the Humanities

From war and human rights to cultural identity and domestic violence, Susan Meiselas’s award-winning photographic work covers a wide range of subjects and countries. Meiselas received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College and her MA in visual education from Harvard University.  A member of the internationally renowned photographic cooperative, Magnum Photos since 1976, Meiselas creates work that raises provocative questions about documentary practice, and the relationship between photographer and subject. Meiselas’ retrospective, Mediations, on view at SFMOMA until October 21, features projects from the beginning of her career in the 1970s to the present day, including her iconic portraits of carnival strippers and Prince Street girls, vivid color images of the revolutions in Central America in the 1980s, collaborations with survivors of domestic violence, and an ongoing investigation into the history and aftermath of the Kurdish genocide. Event details here.


ARC awarded UCHRI Funds for 2018-2019 Programming for “Arts of Critique”


ARC’s 2018-19 program will have a special focus on the critical potential of arts from the Global South. The events organized around this question are the result of collaboration between ARC Interim Director Natalia Brizuela, Anneka Lenssen (History of Art), Leigh Raiford (African American Studies) and Poulomi Saha (English). A generous grant from the UCHRI will partially support the monthly visits by artists and critics and the March conference on Arts of Critique. The year’s investigations on Arts of Critique will take off with a workshop in Mexico City (September 6-8), organized through the International Consortium of Critical Theory Programs (ICCTP) with the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Arts of Critique seeks to prompt the question of the relationship between art and criticism from the standpoint of social and political exigencies of our times, and to do so by thinking with contemporary artists and activists practicing in the global margins and zones of acute transition often called the “Global South”–from Africa, Latin America, South East Asia and the Middle East, to U.S. Latino, African American, Native American and Asian American communities. We will explore art as an embodied critical engagement with the geopolitics of injustice, destructive violences of displacement,environmental crisis, contemporary forms of dissent, protest and rearticulations of democracy. Arts of Critique is interested in the extent to which contemporary art and art criticism wield a transformative capacity to actively condition or mobilize collective imaginaries and struggles contesting domination. The “contemporary” here refers widely, to art that, in its futurity and afterlives and its engagement with global socio-political transformations, may be taken and signified as contemporary.

The questions Arts of Critique will address and thematize include: How do different genres of art alert us to the intimate publics that are formed and deformed in times of loss and crisis? How do feminist, queer, postcolonial/decolonial, postnational perspectives and interventions call attention to, and reclaim, the political implications of art as critique beyond Eurocentric ramifications of critical discourse? What kinds of (un)belongings and displacement, figured through tropes of gendered, sexualized, ethnicized and racialized vulnerability, could allow us to think (with) the limits and the resistant potential of art?


Now Online: In Terms of Performance, a keywords anthology for contemporary cultural practice


In Terms of Performance is a keywords anthology designed to provoke discovery and generate shared literacies across disciplines. It features essays and interviews from more than 50 prominent artists, curators, presenters, and scholars who reflect on common yet contested terms in contemporary cultural practice. The publication is produced by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, Philadelphia and the Arts Research Center and is co-edited by Shannon Jackson, director of the Arts Research Center, and Paula Marincola, executive director of the Pew Center. To read the free publication online, please see here.