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Conference organized by Elize Mazadiego and Felipe Martinez | University Library, Amsterdam.
Event details of Relational subjects, objects and institutions: Artistic Convergences between Latin America and Europe in the Post-1945
Start date
8 June 2023
End date
9 June 2023

Despite the apparent post-1945 reordering of power and influence towards New York, between 1962 and 1976 an influx of artistic exiles left Latin America for Europe. Their orientation was de-centered, opting to move to the Netherlands, the UK, Italy, among other dispersed locations, but also settling in France. Their motivations for migrating were varied and complex. While dictatorial repression was often a factor, artists were attracted to other social, political, economic and cultural alternatives. The artistic practices and work that developed from their displacement mirrored their own mobility, with poetic and experimental correspondences, collaborations and networks set in motion across Europe and between Latin America.

Inversely, European artists were attracted to Latin America as institutions, like MAC-USP (formerly the Museum of Modern Art of São Paulo), built their collections of modern European art and the Biennial of São Paulo offered international participation and reception. One such example is the case of Dutch painter Frieda Hunziker, who exhibited the abstract painting Insects (1953) in the second edition of the Biennial. The same work was eventually donated by the Dutch Colony in São Paulo to MAC-USP’s collection. Other artworks by artists of different European nationalities followed similar routes, ultimately ending up in the museum's collection.

These examples point to the circulatory nature of both artists and artworks that contributed to multicentered pathways and dynamic trajectories between Latin America, Europe and the larger world after 1945. This two-day symposium explores the trajectories of thought, material exchanges and cultural transfers between Latin America and Europe from 1945-1980, and the kinds of transformations that emerged from such circulations. In contrast to the linear perspectives that have characterized the dialogues and exchanges, this symposium aims towards a non-centrist view and relational paradigm that can challenge persistent binaries between so-called centers and peripheries, local and global. Such a topic of focus is part of the interdisciplinary shifts towards what Homi Bhabha describes as a "'new geographical consciousness' composed of multicentered circuits, ex-centric itineraries and contingent configurations of time, sign and sensibility." For this symposium, we propose to re-evaluate the conditions that may have contributed to such alternative phenomena.

Organized in collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Art at the University of Sāo Paulo (MAC USP), this event engages new and interdisciplinary research on the relationship between art and institutions in Europe and Latin America in the postwar period.

Keynote lectures:

Diana Sorensen (James F. Rothenberg Professor of Romance Languages & Literatures, and of Comparative Literature, Harvard University)

Ana Magalhāes (Director, Museu de Arte Contemporânea - Universidade de Sāo Paulo)

This conference is co-organized by the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis and Amsterdam School of Historical Studies at the University of Amsterdam, in collaboration with the Museu de Arte Contemporânea - Universidade de Sāo Paulo. The working language of the conference is English.

Convenors: Elize Mazadiego (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow, University of Amsterdam) and

Felipe Martinez (FAPESP Research Fellow, MAC USP and the University of Amsterdam)

Registration is required at the link.

Conference Program

Thursday 8 June 2023:

10:30 Welcome (UB Singel, Room: Potiegeterzaal)

11:00-12:30 Panel 1 – Artistic forms of solidarity (UB Singel, Room: Potiegeterzaal)

Christopher Williams Wynn, Harvard University, USA
Opening the cage, breaking the jail: Artistic solidarity between Argentina and the German Democratic Republic in the 1970s

Benjamin Murphy, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, USA
Screening Solidarity: Video between Europe and Latin America in the Work of Lea Lublin and Jonier Marin

Anna Corrigan, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Convergences in Crisis: Locating Reciprocity in the Mail Art Network

12:30-14:00 Lunch break

14:00-15:30 Panel 2 – Institutional exchanges (UB Singel Library, Room: Potgieterzaal)

Fabiola Martinez, Saint Louis University – Madrid, Spain
Artistic exchanges between Poland and Mexico during the Thaw

Alexis Salas, University of Arkansas, USA
Official Rebels: Los Grupos at the 1977 Tenth Paris Youth Biennial

Felipe Martinez, MAC USP, Brazil
Dutch Art in the São Paulo Biennial (1951-1961)

15:30-16:00 Break (Coffee and tea)

16:00-17:30 Keynote Lecture (UB Singel, Room: Doelenzaal)

Diana Sorensen, James F. Rothenberg Professor of Romance Languages & Literatures, and of Comparative Literature, Harvard University
Rethinking cartographies: circulation and new geographic imaginaries

17:30-18:30 Drink Reception/Borrel (UB Singel, Room: Doelenzaal)

Friday 9 June 2023:

10:30 Welcome (UB Singel, Room: Vondenzaal)

11:00-12:30 Panel 3 - Artistic crossings (UB Singel, Room: Vondelzaal)

Heloisa Espada, MAC USP, Brazil
Sculptures or showcase design? The contribution of Leopold Haar to Concrete Art in São Paulo

Giulia Lamoni, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal
Passing through the mirror: Latin American artists and feminisms in Europe in the 1970s

Sonia de Laforcade, Radboud University, Netherlands
Sambaqui Ecology

12:30-14:00 Lunch 

14:00-15:30 Panel 4 - New centers of convergence (UB Singel, Room: Vondenzaal)

Elize Mazadiego, University of Bern, Switzerland
Queer migrations: Latin American artists in Amsterdam in the 1960s and 1970s

Martinho Alves Junior, University of Juiz de Fora, Brazil
Mauricio Wellisch, pessimism and renewal

Lara Demori, Biblioteca Hertziana – Max Planck Institute for Art History, Italy
Diasporic Narratives across Italy and Latin America (1960s-1980s)

15:30-16:00 Break (Coffee and tea)

16:00-17:30 Keynote Lecture (UB Singel, Room Doelenzaal)

Ana Magalhāes, Director, Museu de Arte Contemporânea - Universidade de Sāo Paulo
Cold War and Modern Art in South America: The Origins of Modern Art Collections in Brazil and the Collection of MAC USP

17:30-18:30 Drink Reception/Borrel (UB Singel, Room: Doelenzaal)