Recent works by U.S. and Latin American artists who are grappling with issues of colonialism and postcolonialism make up the new exhibit at the Mandeville Gallery in the Nott Memorial.
“A Decolonial Atlas: Strategies in Contemporary Art of the Americas” runs from Jan. 19 through June 16. It features paintings, photography, sculpture and works on paper, with video, in particular, highlighted as a critical medium for expanded narratives and immersive imagery.
The show was organized by the Vincent Price Art Museum in Los Angeles and curated by Pilar Tompkins Rivas, who was recently named the museum’s director. She joins Pablo Helguera and Martine Gutierrez for an evening talk and reception in the Nott Memorial on Jan. 31 from 5 to 6:30 p.m.
Earlier in the day, Helguera, who is also an author, will speak on “The Spaces of Socially Engaged Art” in the Feigenbaum Center for Visual Arts, Room 204. The talk is from 12:55 to 1:45 p.m.
Other artists in the exhibit include Iván Argote, Isabel Avila, Raul Baltazar, Tania Candiani, Carolina Caycedo, E.D.E.L.O (Caleb Duarte and Mia Eve Rollow), Ricardo Estrada, Jeffrey Gibson, Laura Huertas Millán, Carlos Motta, Paulo Nazareth, Camilo Ontiveros, Eamon Ore-Giron, Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa, Marton Robinson and Javier Tapia.
“A Decolonial Atlas” is structured in four sections, or “thematic constellations,” intended to present an alternative mapping of the region. The term constellation refers to observations from the early 19th century Latin American travels of Alexander von Humboldt, a notable Prussian geographer, explorer and naturalist.
Works in the constellation called “Recasting Indigeneity” challenge typical exoticized views of indigenous cultures by reasserting native identity formations, beliefs and practices situated in the contemporary moment.
In the “Dislodging Time” section, the artists break from a linear notion of time by considering abstract cycles. Here, according to Helguera, “the past is a foreign country” and “the future isn’t what it used to be.”
In “Countering Extractivism,” the artworks question and bear witness to the depletion of natural resources by modern industrial forces. The fourth section, “Intervening the Archive,” broadens official narratives of specific places and events, from the contemporary to the colonial to the origins of conquest.
Departments, offices and programs that have contributed funding to the Mandeville exhibit include Interdisciplinary Studies, the Latin American and Caribbean Studies program, the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, the Department of Visual Arts, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, UNITAS, and the Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies program.