TBD | Visual Activism: Histories of Dance


Histories of Dance
co-curated by Julia Bryan-Wilson and Olivia Ardui
Museu de Arte de São Paulo
Date TBD

This talk will take place online
Please check later for the link


From pre-Columbian ceramics, to abstract early 20th century canvases inspired by rhythms, to contemporary activist choreography, Histories of Dance illuminates the potential of dance to express physical joy and desire—and also collective anger—in the face of oppression and crisis. By looking at how bodies move together within specific political, historical, and economic contexts, the exhibition reflects how dance functions as exuberant resistance. It emphasizes self-invention and the assertive claiming of territories of Black and indigenous people moving together in space. In addition, Histories of Dance foregrounds the contribution of women, with special attention to feminist and queer work, Chilean women mourning the disappeared under Pinochet with la cueca sola, and research around pioneering female dancers, such as Josephine Baker and Analívia Cordeiro.

To mark the Histories of Dance catalog publication, join ARC for a conversation about the show with Julia Bryan-Wilson and MASP Curator Olivia Ardui. 

Image credit: Faith Ringgold, Groovin’ High, 1986. 


About the Visual Activism series: How has visual culture played a role within the social movements of the last several decades, such as #BlackLivesMatter and Extinction Rebellion? How, we might ask, is activism made visible; how does it erupt (or disappear) with collective fields of vision? Drawing upon Black South African queer photographer Zanele Muholi’s term “visual activism” as a flexible rubric that encompasses both formal practices and political strategies, this series interrogates visual cultures of dissent, resistance, and protest. 

Visual Activism is sponsored in part by a Creative Discovery Grant from UC Berkeley’s Arts + Design Initiative.