Xochi Solis presents work in group exhibition at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art
Wed. May 27, 2015
Xochi Solis (BFA in Studio Art, 2005) presents work in Flatlander at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. The exhibition is on view May 21 – September 13, 2015.
Q+A with INGZ, a feminist anti-racist art action group
Thu. May 28, 2015
INGZ defines themselves as a feminist anti-racist art action group. They collaborate on exhibitions, publishing, lectures, interventions and art making to promote conversation about the many expressions of identity. Fluid and strategic, INGZ attacks white supremacist capitalist patriarchy by creating space to be heard, to listen, and to experiment in the field of the visual. INGZ includes Uchenna Itam (PhD student in Art History), Julia Neal (PhD student in Art History), Rebecca Giordano (MA student in Art History), and Natalie Zelt (PhD student in American Studies).
Describe your individual research focus.
Itam: I am interested in contemporary artistic practices in the United States with a focus on performativity and the diasporic African experience.
Neal: I research 20th century art from the United States, and consider virtuality, sound, and identity within global contexts between 1940s–70s.
Giordano: My research comes from a place of genuine curiosity with an aim toward teaching. I am compelled to the exploration of the political through visual forms and aesthetic practices by women and people of color from 1968 onward. Particularly, I consider the consistently political forms of conceptualism and systems art that targeted invisibility and erasure as well as the politics of labor. My eye rests where the line between art and politics is untraceable.
Zelt: I study contemporary art from the United States with focus on photography and identity.
How did you four meet?
INGZ: We met as colleagues in Dr. Cherise Smith's seminar Historicizing the Politics of Identity during the fall 2013 semester.
What was the impetus for starting INGZ?
INGZ: With Dr. Smith's Historicizing the Politics of Identity as both a real and conceptual backdrop, we compelled each other to put into practice our own negotiations for ethical and responsible curating. A smaller seminar allowed us to build an intimate space for learning and a sense of camaraderie that could foster new projects and creative intervention. With and through challenging curriculum, our time in Dr. Smith’s seminar was an invaluable educational experience for professionalism in the arts. INGZ is a testament to a trajectory of a spirited class experience catalyzed and synthesized for tangible, durable forms of practice outside the classroom.
The Visual Arts Center's call for exhibition proposals was timely. We are transients and new to Austin, experiencing the city through various lenses, from isolated educational spaces at the university, to East Austin neighborhoods and different classed social scenes. We wanted to work with an artist who engaged with socioeconomic issues akin to those affecting Austin communities. Though we came together to begin with a project, INGZ is as much about us forging a new model of collectivity and curatorial process as it is about our commitment to promoting and presenting artwork. What we do is a practice.
Your first curatorial project was LaToya Ruby Frazier: Riveted, what was the thinking behind the exhibition?
INGZ: We prefaced Frazier's name to emphasize the primacy of her photographic practice and discursive identity in relation to art, activism, teaching, and criticism. First, we were adamant about organizing an exhibition of work that we all valued, and secondly, work that manifested a consciousness about intersections of race, gender, class, and nationality. The term "riveted" followed after striving to provide enough space and time for audiences to encounter multiple aspects in Frazier's work. We succeeded in obtaining two venues for displaying her work, hence "riveted" was used as a moniker linking both shows. We decided to work on this exhibition only after Frazier graciously decided to work with us.
Why did you use two on-campus spaces for the exhibition?
INGZ: LaToya Ruby Frazier: Riveted consists of two exhibitions and was intentionally designed as such. Curatorially, the two-shows-under-one-heading structure allowed us to push the show in many more directions. We were able to present two very different narratives and offer two residencies that included a variety of student-centered events. As with any show, the venue draws a specific audience. It was exciting to see the range of visitors who were able to see Frazier’s work because there were two distinct shows in two different kinds of galleries. After INGZ received support from Dr. Cherise Smith, associate director of the Warfield Center and associate professor in the Department of Art and Art History, we immediately broadened our scope for the possibilities of what to put on view. It was a quick, deliberate, and conscientious choice. Having a second semester-long exhibition was the next logical step in what would have just been a one-month show at the Visual Arts Center.
What did you learn from the processing of managing the exhibition and public programming?
INGZ: If you need things done, you do it. For most of us, this wasn’t new work at all. What we learned was that we don’t need to rely on old methods and forms. We can apply our know-how and passion to do things the way we envision. The experience of engaging with the multiple institutional and bureaucratic levels of UT Austin reinforced our existing skillsets as professional scholars and curators, as well as committed activists and educators.
What is next for INGZ?
INGZ: The question of "what's next" implies finality for our first project. In reality, we have built some incredible relationships that will have an enduring impact on our anti-racist and feminist commitments as scholars and curators. We are working towards maintaining respectful, challenging, and professional approaches to the privilege of representing art on behalf of artists. Ideas abound.
Individually, what is the next step in your research?
Itam: I’m preparing for qualifying exams in the fall, so I’ll spend the summer reading.
Neal: I'll be in Middlebury, Vermont this summer to learn German, a seven-week 24 hour tabula rasa of my fluency in French.
Giordano: This summer I will be completing my thesis on the work of Mierle Laderman Ukeles, which suddenly has become about the immateriality of the readymade. I will be working as a research assistant on an upcoming book project and am currently pursuing positions in museum education.
Zelt: Right now, I am reading for my comprehensive exams in the fields of American Studies, Critical Race and Gender Studies, and Contemporary Art/Photography in the United States. Inspired by my research and work with LaToya Ruby Frazier’s work, I am considering intergenerational self-portraiture as a means of upsetting representational histories.
LaToya Ruby Frazier: Riveted was previously on view at:
AGREE TO DISAGREE: 2015 Studio Art MFA Thesis Exhibition reviewed in the Austin Chronicle
Tue. May 19, 2015
AGREE TO DISAGREE: 2015 Studio Art MFA Thesis Exhibition was reviewed in the Austin Chronicle.
PhD candidates present exhibition at the Blanton Museum of Art
Tue. May 19, 2015
PhD candidates in Art History and Andrew W. Mellon Fellows at the Blanton Katie Anania and Alexis Salas present two exhibitions: Paper and Performance: The Bent Page and All the Signs are (T)Here: Social Iconography in Mexican and Chicano Art from Collections at The University of Texas at Austin.