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Talking to Action: Art, Pedagogy, and Activism in the Americas

September 17 – December 10, 2017

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Talking to Action: Art, Pedagogy, and Activism in the Americas is an exhibition and bilingual publication that investigates contemporary, community-based social art practices in the Americas, and is part of the Getty’s initiative Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles.

Talking to Action features drawings, archival materials, sculpture, installation, video, and film that blur the lines between object making, political and environmental activism, community organizing, and performance art, created by contemporary artists and collectives from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, and the US. Mirroring the educational imperative found in many of the artists’ practices, and Otis College’s academic commitment to Social Practice, Talking to Action leans on the history of critical, dialogically-driven pedagogies from Latin America such as those greatly informed by Paulo Freire and other important thinkers whose collective efforts were influential to generations of artists, teachers, and activists throughout the hemisphere.

The social practice artists included in Talking to Action address critical issues such as migration and memory, critical spatial mapping, environmental issues, gender rights and legislation, indigenous knowledge, and racial violence. The exhibition will feature a diverse array of projects, such as the collaboration between Buenos Aires-based artist Eduardo Molinari and Los Angeles artist Sandra de la Loza as they research the archives and history of the production of space and landscape in their respective cities; SEFT-1 (Sonda de Exploración Ferroviaria Tripulada), a playfully futuristic vehicle to explore disused railroads in order to map the history of capital development in Mexico; and São Paulo-based Frente 3 de Fevereiro, who use cartography, film, and urban intervention to trace the violent lineage of “exporting” militarization and social control of Afro communities within the historic conflicts in Medellín, Colombia, to the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, and the natural disasters in Port au Prince, Haiti.

Artists in the exhibition: Liliana Angulo Cortés, Efraín Astorga Garay, BijaRi, Giacomo Castagnola, Cog•nate Collective, Colectivo FUGA, Sandra de la Loza and Eduardo Molinari, Dignicraft, Etcétera..., Frente 3 de Fevereiro, Grupo Contrafilé, Clara Ianni and Débora Maria da Silva, Iconoclasistas, Kolectivo de Restauración Territorial, Suzanne Lacy, Alfadir Luna, Taniel Morales, Andrés Padilla Domene and Iván Puig Domene, Polen Audiovisual, Gala Porras-Kim, and Ultra-red.

Bill Kelley, Jr. is Curator and Lead Researcher of Talking to Action, and is a writer and scholar of community-based practices in the Americas, and Assistant Professor of Latin American and Latino Art History at California State University at Bakersfield. Karen Moss is Consulting Curator, and is adjunct professor of Public Practice at Otis College of Art and Design. Talking to Action’s two-year research phase led by Kelley involved the coordinated efforts of a team of researchers from six different cities in the Americas to inquire into the issues and artist methods that connect the various cities in the hemisphere. Talking to Action also builds upon the scholarship of Otis College’s groundbreaking Public Practice MFA program founded by Suzanne Lacy, as well as the Otis ACT (Artists, Community and Teaching) and Creative Learning programs that combine project-based courses and multidisciplinary community partnerships. Ben Maltz Gallery participated in the Getty’s original Pacific Standard Time initiative in 2010, with the comprehensive exhibition Doin' It in Public: Feminism and Art at the Woman's Building that traced the groundbreaking artwork and community-based efforts of feminist artists and art cooperatives at the Woman's Building in downtown L.A in the 1970s and 1980s. Exhibition Tour

The Talking to Action international tour, managed by Independent Curators International (ICI), includes: Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, Arizona / Winter 2018; School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois / Summer 2018; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, California / Winter 2019.

Publication
The exhibition is accompanied by the bilingual publication Talking to Action: Art, Pedagogy, and Activism in the Americas, co-published by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and distributed by University of Chicago Press. The publication encompasses the exhibition, programmatic, and pedagogic imperatives of the Talking to Action project, and includes an introduction by Karen Moss, and essays by the Talking to Action research team María Fernanda Cartagena, David Gutiérrez Castañeda, André Mesquita, Bill Kelley, Jr., Jennifer Ponce de León, Paulina Varas, and UC San Diego scholar Grant Kester.

Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA
Led by the Getty, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA is a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles taking place from September 2017 through January 2018. http://www.pacificstandardtime.org/


 


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About the Exhibition

The exhibition is accompanied by the bilingual publication Talking to Action: Art, Pedagogy, and Activism in the Americas, co-published by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and distributed by University of Chicago Press. The publication encompasses the exhibition, programmatic, and pedagogic imperatives of the Talking to Action project, and includes an introduction by Karen Moss, and essays by the Talking to Action research team María Fernanda Cartagena, David Gutiérrez Castañeda, Andre Mesquita, Bill Kelley, Jr., Jennifer Ponce de León, Paulina Varas, and UC San Diego scholar Grant Kester.

Copies are available for purchase in the Ben Maltz Gallery, and online at The University of Chicago Press at http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/distributed/T/bo28124825.html