A series of lectures delivered by Terra Visiting Professors of American Art, as part of their year at University of Oxford’s History of Art Department. Find out more about other History of Art events, lectures and courses on the History of Art Department homepage https://www.hoa.ox.ac.uk/
Collapsing Time with Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
The 2022 Terra Lectures in American Art centre on Latinx art, with an emphasis on Chicanx (Mexican American) artists, and the theme of migration – of people, ideas, and artworks, from the seventeenth century to today. Art and activism converge as these lectures move across disciplinary, chronological, and geographical borders. We consider new approaches to “American” art, its borders, and contact zones. By posing strategic questions, these four talks demonstrate avenues of inquiry to decolonise art history.
The second lecture in the series, titled “Collapsing Time with Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz”, presented by Professor Charlene Villaseñor Black, brings contemporary art by Chicana (Mexican American) women artists into dialogue with the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, collapsing and questioning art history’s chronological and geographical frameworks and borders. I examine portrayals of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1648-1695), famed writer, intellectual, and proto-feminist nun in colonial Mexico. How can recent visual imaginings by Chicana feminist artists illuminate earlier, historical portrayals of Mexico’s “Tenth Muse”? Can the tools of Chicanx studies force a reconceptualization of art history?
Terra Visiting Professor of American Art at the University of Oxford 2021-2022, Professor Villaseñor Black is a leading expert on a range of topics related to contemporary Latinx art, the early modern Iberian world and Chicanx studies. She is currently Professor of Art History and Chicana/o Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. In 2016, she was awarded UCLA’s Gold Shield Faculty Prize for Academic Excellence for exceptional teaching, innovative research, and strong commitment to university services. Professor Villaseñor Black is also editor of Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, and founding editor-in-chief of Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture (UC Press). Her most recent books include Renaissance Futurities: Art, Science, Invention and Knowledge for Justice: An Ethnic Studies Reader (both from 2019), the new 2020 edition of The Chicano Studies Reader, and Autobiography without Apology: The Personal Essay in Latino Studies, which she co-edited.
See Download Media menu on the right for Transcript and List of artworks.
Terra Foundation Lectures in American Art 2019 - A Contest of Images: American Art as Culture War (4) The Stones of Civil War
Dr John Blakinger speaks about iconoclasm in American history and the vandalism of Confederate monuments. Iconoclasm is an enduring American value. In 1776, a mob destroyed a statue of King George III in Bowling Green, New York, establishing the new American Republic as a nation built on image destruction. More recent acts of visual violence have targeted Confederate monuments, transforming them both physically and digitally. Images of vandalism that circulate online are powerful enough to re-cast bronze and shatter stone. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/
Terra Foundation Lectures in American Art 2019 - A Contest of Images: American Art as Culture War (3) Dismantling the Gallows
Dr John Blakinger discusses 'Scaffold', Sam Durant's contentious sculpture. Sam Durant's controversial sculpture Scaffold, a wooden structure recalling specific gallows from American history, ignited a firestorm at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis in 2017. The work resembled the scaffold used in nearby Mankato, Minnesota, where 38 Dakota men were executed just days after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation - it was the largest mass execution ever held on American soil. This historical reference prompted a backlash from Native communities, who called for the work's removal. Can art help us dismantle the past and loosen its shackles? Or are we always forced to remember? Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/
Terra Foundation Lectures in American Art 2019 - A Contest of Images: American Art as Culture War (2) The Body of Emmett Till
Dr John Blakinger speaks about the controversy surrounding Dana Shutz's painting of the body of Emmett Till exhibited at the 2017 Whitney Biennnial. Who has the right to see in an age of image overload? At the 2017 Whitney Biennial, a painting by the artist Dana Schutz depicting the body of Emmett Till, a fifteen-year-old African-American boy lynched in Mississippi in 1955, incited outrage. The artists Hannah Black and Parker Bright condemned the work as "black death spectacle." The episode resuscitated debates over the use and abuse of traumatic pictures, and the way visual images propelling the Civil Rights movement also exploited their subjects. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/
Terra Foundation Lectures in American Art 2019 - A Contest of Images: American Art as Culture War (1) Warhol in Safariland
Dr John Blakinger talks about demonstrations against the Whitney Museum of American Art related to its connections with the tear gas manufacturer Safariland. In November 2018, an image of migrants fleeing tear gas at the US-Mexico border ricocheted across the internet, inspiring protests against the Trump administration’s immigration policies but also against a more unlikely target: the Whitney Museum of American Art. The artist-activist collective Decolonize This Place stormed the museum in demonstration against the Whitney’s connections to Safariland, a manufacturer of tear gas. Andy Warhol’s silkscreen canvases, then on view for a major retrospective, took on new meanings during these events. The artist’s “Death in America” paintings depicting turmoil in the 1960s came to life in the gallery. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/
Terra Foundation Lectures in American Art 2018: The Body of a Nation: (4) The great disappearing George Washington: history and the head of state in contemporary American art
Professor Miguel de Baca gives his final Terra Foundation Lecture in American Art on Gilbert Stuart’s unfinished painting of George Washington.