Dr Verónica Tello

Dr Verónica Tello

Senior Lecturer

PhD, Art History/Visual Culture, University of Melbourne, 2014

Arts, Design & Architecture (ADA)
School of Art & Design

Senior Lecturer, Histories of Contemporary Art and Visual Culture

I am a historian predominantly focusing on transnational politics and archives of art and visual culture and curating in/out of the Pacific, Chile, Australia and Latin America. I’m interested in understanding how global capital and class structure the historiography of art and the politics of epistemology and how memory can activate cultural, social, and political change. 

I have developed two books: Counter-Memorial Aesthetics: Refugee Histories and the Politics of Contemporary Art (Radical Aesthetics Radical Art series, Bloomsbury Philosophy, 2016), focuses on the protracted ‘global refugee crisis' from the 1990s to the present across Australia, the UK and the Americas. It analyses how contemporary artists archive, activate and counter-memorialise contested migratory histories in contexts marked by intensified border politics. While national landscapes brim with monuments, 'counter-memorial aesthetics' opens up numerous tactics to understand the various ways that often invisible and/or erased migratory histories pass through us and have the potential to reshape us, time and again. My second book, Future Souths: Dialogues on Art, Place, and History (2023, Discipline and Third Text Publications), develops a moving conceptual vocabulary of the aesthetics, politics, economies, histories and potentialities of the Global Souths in collaboration with artists, writers and curators such as Dylan AT Miner, Carla Macchiavello, James Nguyen, Zoe Butt, Salote Tawale, Rolando López, Jennifer Biddle, Ruth Simbao, Rachel O'Reilly, Walter Mignolo, and many others.

I am currently developing a monograph on the international exhibition history of Chilean experimental art (including but not limited to the escena de avandaza) during the Pinochet dictatorship (1973-1990). This project focuses on how certain art exhibitions archived early forms of neoliberalism and its resistance within Chile and the then-emergent “global contemporary” art world. The project maps eccentricity, refusal, and the strike as counter-neoliberal strategies that gave way to an alternate, if not also shadowy, notion of being contemporary. 

In addition, with Salote Tawale and Ien Ang, I am leading the Australian Research Council Linkage project focussed on how collections and archives can catalyse epistemological experiments and equity (or structural change) within Australian regional art museums. The project, entitled Parallel, is developed in partnership with Murray Albury Museum of Art (MAMA) and embraces the potential of the ‘parallel’ or the ‘para’ as a way of being adjacent to, beyond or distinct from the structural formations that are typically the case in Australian art institutions.

I am the Editor in Chief of the Australia and New Zealand Journal of Art, published by Taylor & Francis and the Sydney editor of Memo Review.

Recent publications: 


  • Books | 2023
    Tello V; Macchiavello C; Mignolo W; Miner DAT; López R; Hernandez E; O'Reilly R; Simbao R; Biddle J; Frank C; Butt Z; Nguyen J; Tawale S; Tshilumba Mukendi J-S; Mitropoulos A; Jovanović Weiss S; Katherine C; do Campo F, 2023, Future Souths: Dialogues on Art, Place, and History, Tello V, (ed.), Third Text Publications and Discipline, London and Melbourne, http://thirdtext.org/future-souths
    Books | 2016
    Tello V, 2016, Counter-Memorial Aesthetics: Refugee Histories and the Politics of Contemporary Art, Bloomsbury, London and New York, http://bloomsbury.com/us/counter-memorial-aesthetics-9781474252744/
  • Book Chapters | 2023
    Hernández EA; López R; O'Reilly R; Macchiavello C; Tello V, 2023, 'Contracts (and Colonial Law) I: Exploitation and Order without Progress', in Tello V (ed.), Future Souths Dialogues on Art, Place, and History, Third Text Publications and Discipline, London, and Melbourne/Narrm, pp. 110 - 121, http://www.thirdtext.org/future-souths
    Book Chapters | 2023
    Miner DAT; Tello V; Tshilumba Mukendi J-S; Simbao R; Biddle J; Mignolo WD, 2023, 'Contemporaneities: Aanikoobijiganag (AncestorsDescendants) and Decolonised Time', in Tello V (ed.), Future Souths Dialogues on Art, Place, and History, Third Text Publications and Discipline, London, and Melbourne/Narrm, pp. 191 - 207, http://www.thirdtext.org/future-souths
    Book Chapters | 2023
    Simbao R; Macchiavella C; Tshilumba Mukendi J-S; Tello V, 2023, 'Global Art: Stepping Nimbly with Strategic Southernness', in Tello V (ed.), Future Souths Dialogues on Art, Place, and History, Third Text Publications and Discipline, London and Melbourne/Narrm, pp. 170 - 185, http://www.thirdtext.org/future-souths
    Book Chapters | 2023
    Tello V; Frank C; Nguyen J; Tawale S, 2023, 'Futures: Or, Weak Histories', in Tello V (ed.), Future Souths Dialogues on Art, Place, and History, Third Text Publications and Discipline, London and Melbourne/Narrm, pp. 34 - 61, http://www.thirdtext.org/future-souths
    Book Chapters | 2023
    Tello V, 2023, 'Former West/Future Souths', in Tello V (ed.), Future Souths Dialogues on Art, Place, and History, Third Text Publications and Discipline, London and Melbourne/Narrm, pp. 12 - 33, http://www.thirdtext.org/future-souths
    Book Chapters | 2023
    Tello V, 2023, 'How to Appear? Writing art history in Australia after 1973', in Wake C; Suliman S; Little S (ed.), Performance, Refugees, Resistance, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 138 - 154, https://www.routledge.com/Performance-Resistance-and-Refugees/Little-Suliman-Wake/p/book/9780367696696
    Book Chapters | 2023
    Tello V, 2023, 'Una mirada sobre afuera/A View from the Outside: Margins and Institutions: Art in Chile', in Macchiavello C; San Martin F; Solimano P (ed.), Dismantling the Nation State: Notes on Contemporary Art and Culture in Chile, Amherst College Press, Massachusetts, http://dx.doi.org/10.3998/mpub.12853055
    Book Chapters | 2019
    Tello V, 2019, 'Is Contemporary Art Postdevelopmental? A Study of 'Art as NGO'', in Morreo Boada C; Klein E (ed.), Postdevelopmental Practice, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 306 - 320, https://www.routledge.com/Postdevelopment-in-Practice-Alternatives-Economies-Ontologies/Klein-Morreo/p/book/9781138588677
    Book Chapters | 2019
    Tello V, 2019, 'The Speculative Collectivity of the Global Transnational, Or, Social Practice and the International Division of Labour', in Eckersall P; Grehan H (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Theatre and Politics, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 151 - 155, https://www.routledge.com/The-Routledge-Companion-to-Theatre-and-Politics-1st-Edition/Eckersall-Grehan/p/book/9781138303485
    Book Chapters | 2018
    Tello V, 2018, 'Aesthetic Autonomy at the Border: Notes on Necro-Art', in Lushetich N (ed.), The Aesthetics of Necropolitics, Rowman and Littlefield, London and New York, pp. 55 - 55, https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781786606853/The-Aesthetics-of-Necropolitics
    Book Chapters | 2017
    Tello V; Campus in Camps , 2017, 'Collective Dictionary: Political', in Hlavajova M; Sheikh S (ed.), Former West: Art and the Contemporary After 1989, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass, pp. 656 - 656
  • Edited Books | 2023
    Little S; Suliman S; Wake C; Szörényi A; Khorana S; Gholami Z; Perea S; Papastergiadis N; Tello V; Giannacopoulos M, (eds.), 2023, Performance, Resistance and Refugees, Routledge, London, http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781003142782
    Edited Books | 2020
    Baker Smith D; Blackmore K, (ed.), 2020, Barbara Cleveland: Thinking Business, Goulburn Regional Art Gallery, Goulburn, https://goulburnregionalartgallery.com.au/exhibitions/barbara-cleveland
  • Journal articles | 2023
    Tello V, 2023, 'Old/New: The Anti-Gatekeeping Method', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art, 23, pp. 1 - 3, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14434318.2023.2225737
    Journal articles | 2022
    Tello V; Valenzuela-Valdivia S, 2022, 'A Partial History of South-South Art Criticism: Juan Dávila's collaborations with Art & Text and Chilean art workers during the Pinochet regime (1981-1990)', Third Text, 35, pp. 709 - 731, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09528822.2021.2019954
    Journal articles | 2022
    Tello V; Valenzuela-Valdivia S, 2022, 'Southern Atlas: Art Criticism in/out of Chile and Australia during the Pinochet Regime', Third Text Online, http://www.thirdtext.org/tello-valenzuela-southernatlas
    Journal articles | 2022
    Tello V, 2022, 'An Unhomely Feeling', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art, 22, pp. 147 - 150, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14434318.2022.2143754
    Journal articles | 2020
    Tello V, 2020, 'What is contemporary about institutional critique?', Third Text, 34, pp. 635 - 649, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09528822.2020.1841409
    Journal articles | 2019
    Tello V, 2019, 'Counter-memory and and–and: Aesthetics and temporalities for living together', Memory Studies, 17, pp. 1 - 12, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1750698019876002
    Journal articles | 2016
    Tello V; Fisher L, 2016, 'The Fiction of Aftermath: Public Art, Public Imagination and the Aesthetics of Anthropogenic Crisis', Australian Humanities Review, 60, pp. 1 - 20, http://australianhumanitiesreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/AHR60_Tello-and-Fisher.pdf
    Journal articles | 2016
    Tello V, 2016, 'Performing Crisis: Critical Solidarity in/with the Silent University', Broadsheet, 45, pp. 31 - 34
    Journal articles | 2014
    Tello V, 2014, 'Counter-Memory, Heterochronia, and 'History Painting' (After Géricault): Dierk Schmidt's SIEV-X - On a Case of Intensified Refugee Politics', Contemporaneity: Historical Presence in Visual Culture, 3, pp. 21 - 37, http://dx.doi.org/10.5195/contemp.2014.106
    Journal articles | 2014
    Tello V, 2014, 'The Aesthetics and Politics of Aftermath Photography: Rosemary Laing's welcome to Australia (2004)', Third Text: third world perspectives on contemporary art and culture, 28, pp. 553 - 560, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09528822.2014.970775
    Journal articles | 2012
    Tello V, 2012, 'Review: Rhetorical Gestures: The 18th Biennale of Sydney', Afterall (Online), http://www.afterall.org/online/rhetorical-gestures-the-18th-biennale-of-sydney/
    Journal articles | 2011
    Tello V, 2011, 'Between Counter-memory and Paranoia: Dierk Schmidt's triptych: Xenophobe, Freedom and Untitled (Louvre) (2001/2002)', Tijdschrift Kunstlicht, 32, pp. 16 - 23
    Journal articles | 2010
    Tello V, 2010, 'Review: The Division of the Earth', Afterall (Online), http://www.afterall.org/online/4982
  • Creative Written Works | 2024
    Tello V, 2024, I remember you, I remember you
    Other | 2024
    Curatorial Outputs | 2023
    Tello V; Tawale S, 2023, Parallel Structures, exhibited at: Murray Art Museum Albury, 17 October 2023 - 17 March 2024, https://www.mamalbury.com.au/exhibition-archive/parallel-structures-exhibition-program
    Creative Written Works | 2022
    Tello V, 2022, How to Appear? A Genealogy for Nadia Hernández, Like a Wheel That Turns: The 2022 Macfarlane Commissions, Delany M; Kristensen A, (ed.), Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, https://shop.acca.melbourne/collections/home-page/products/like-a-wheel-that-turns-the-2022-macfarlane-commissions
    Other | 2022
    Tello V, 2022, From Impulse to Action, Bundanon Art Museum and A Park is Not a Forest, Sydney College of the Arts Gallery, , https://www.memoreview.net/reviews/from-impulse-to-action-bundanon-art-museum-and-a-park-is-not-a-forest-sydney-college-of-the-arts-gallery
    Creative Works (non-textual) | 2022
    Tello V, 2022, VERS: On Pleasures, Embodiment, Kinships, Fugitivity and Re/Organising, VERS: On Pleasures, Embodiment, Kinships, Fugitivity and Re/Organising, Samstag Museum, ACE OPEN and Monash University Museum of Art, 17 June 2022 - 18 June 2022, at: https://www.monash.edu/muma/public-programs/previous/2023/vers-on-pleasures,-embodiment,-kinships,-fugitivity-and-reorganising
    Creative Written Works | 2021
    Tello V, 2021, Juan Dávila, Self-Portrait as Ingre's Violin (1984), Queer Readings of the Monash University Collection, Ratliff M; Parker FE, (ed.), Monash University Museum of Art, https://www.monash.edu/muma/collection/queer-readings-of-the-collection/queer-readings-of-the-collection/juan-davila
    Creative Works (non-textual) | 2020
    Baker Smith D; Tello V, 2020, Opening Night (The Order of Arrangements), Know my Name, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 14 November 2020 - 14 July 2021, at: https://knowmyname.nga.gov.au/events/opening-night-order-arrangements/
    Theses / Dissertations | 2020
    Miskell J, 2020, Embodied Knowledge and Collective Survival: Dance and Community in the work of Bhenji Ra, UNSW School of Art & Design
    Creative Works (non-textual) | 2020
    Tello V; Baker Smith D; Bullock N; England J, 2020, Know My Name Conference, Know My Name, National Gallery of Australia, 10 November 2020 - 13 November 2020, medium: Conference, at: https://knowmyname.nga.gov.au/events/know-my-name-conference/
    Creative Written Works | 2020
    Tello V, 2020, I, You, We, Together: For Juan, Paul and Paul, Thinking Business: Barbara Cleveland, Goulburn Regional Gallery
    Conference Presentations | 2018
    Tello V, 2018, 'On the Margins of Global Art History', presented at Art Association of Australia and New Zealand, RMIT, Melbourne, 04 December 2018 - 08 December 2018, http://aaanz.info/aaanz-home/conferences/2018-conference/
    Other | 2018
    Tello V, 2018, Counter-Memory and Migratory Aesthetics: Staying with the Many Times of Global Contemporaneity, University of Munster, Munster, , https://www.uni-muenster.de/imperia/md/content/kunstgeschichte/ringvorlesung_counter-monuments.pdf
    Conference Presentations | 2017
    Tello V; Nguyen J; Macauley L; Odugbesan A; Thomopoulos C, 2017, 'Decolonial Everywhere Study and Planning Group (workshops)', presented at Performance Studies international, Hamburg, 07 June 2017 - 11 June 2017
    Conference Presentations | 2017
    Tello V; Nguyen J, 2017, 'Decolonial Everywhere Study and Planning Group: Infrastructures of Knowledge', presented at Affective Shifts: Inside and Outside the Nation and Body, UNSW Art & Design, Sydney, 21 February 2017 - 21 February 2017
    Curatorial Outputs | 2017
    Tello V, 2017, Future Souths: Dialogues and Aesthetics of the Global Souths, exhibited at: online, 03 July 2017 - 23 August 2017, http://futuresouths.org/
    Reports | 2017
    Tello V, 2017, ‘Research Panel: ”Futuring Education”, co-convened with Dr Caroline Lennette, UNSW Forced Migration Research Network, Refugee Alternatives: Improving Policy, Practice and Public Support, Refugee Council of Australia, Sydney, http://dx.doi.org/10.26190/unsworks/27622
    Other | 2017
    Performance Studies International (ed.), 2017, Decolonial Everywhere Study and Planning Group, Performance Studies International, Hamburg, , http://www.psi-web.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/PSi23-OverFlow-schedule.pdf
    Conference Presentations | 2016
    Biddle J; Munster A; Tello V, 2016, '[Convened Seminar Series]', presented at precarity//futurity//aesthetics, CCAP and Visual Anthropology, NIEA, UNSW Art & Design, -
    Creative Written Works | 2016
    Tello V, 2016, Border Thinking, Political: Campus in Campus Collective Dictionary, Campus in Camps , (ed.), Campus in Camps/BAK, http://www.campusincamps.ps/projects/political/
    Conference Presentations | 2016
    Tello V, 2016, 'Enduring Crises of Statelessness', presented at Performance Studies International, Melbourne, 05 July 2016 - 09 July 2016, http://www.psi2016.com/
    Conference Papers | 2016
    Tello V, 2016, 'Post-Institutional Critique in the Former West', in Leonardo Electronic Almanac, Leonardo/International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology (Leonardo/ISAST), Boston, presented at Post-Society and Financial Exsanguination:The Social: 4th International Association for Visual Culture Biennial Conference, Boston, 29 September 2016 - 01 October 2016, http://ocradst.org/visualculture2016/
    Creative Written Works | 2015
    Tello V, 2015, BDSM After Art History: My Safe Word is Performance (2014): In Conversation with Sarah Rodigari, My Safe Word is Performance, Barrett F, (ed.), Australian Experimental Art Foundation
    Creative Written Works | 2014
    Tello V, 2014, The Displacements of Lynne Roberts-Goodwin, MORE THAN EVER, M Contemporary, http://trove.nla.gov.au/version/210606947
    Creative Written Works | 2013
    Tello V; Rodigari S, 2013, Act Natural, Going Down: An Anthology of Contemporary Feminist Sydney Performance, Rodigari S; Olivieri J, (ed.), ISCP, New York
    Theses / Dissertations | 2013
    Tello V, 2013, The Aesthetics of Counter-Memory: Contemporary Art and Refugee Histories After Tampa, University of Melbourne, University of Melbourne, http://hdl.handle.net/11343/38305
    Conference Presentations | 2012
    Tello V, 2012, 'Distillations of Time: The Politics of Aftermath Photography and Rosemary Laing's to walk on a sea of salt (2004)', presented at Art Association of Australia and New Zealand Conference, University of Sydney, 11 July 2012 - 12 July 2012, http://aaanz.info/aaanz-home/conferences/2012_conference/
    Conference Presentations | 2010
    Tello V, 2010, 'After Géricault: Dierk Schmidt's 'History Paintings' for SIEV-X', presented at Association of Art Historians Conference, University of Glasgow, 15 April 2010 - 17 April 2010, http://www.aah.org.uk/annual-conference/past-conferences/2010
    Creative Written Works | 2009
    Tello V, 2009, Interview with Rosa Martinez, Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art, Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art, http://whitehotmagazine.com/articles/2009-interview-with-rosa-martinez/1704
    Conference Presentations | 2009
    Tello V, 2009, 'Dierk Schmidt: SIEV-X and the recalibration of mass media images', presented at Art Association of Australia and New Zealand Conference, Australian National University, Canberra, 26 November 2009 - 28 November 2009, http://aaanz.info/aaanz-home/conferences/conference-2009-open-themed/
    Creative Written Works | 2008
    Tello V, 2008, History Will Repeat Itself: Inke Arns Interview, Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art, Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art, http://whitehotmagazine.com/articles/february-2008-inke-arns-interview/1147
    Curatorial Outputs | 2008
    Tello V, 2008, team Australia, exhibited at: Carlton Hotel Studios, Melbourne, 04 December 2008 - 20 December 2008, team Australia, http://glennwalls.com/category/prototype-for-sophisticated-living-4-team-australia-curated-by-veronica-tello-part-2/
    Creative Written Works | 2006
    Tello V, 2006, Fe, Fie, Faux Femme, Feminist Actions, Nextwave Festival and Spacement Gallery
    Creative Written Works | 2006
    Tello V, 2006, Spewtiful: Ali Sanderson, Studio 12: Ali Sanderson, Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, http://trove.nla.gov.au/version/32890785
    Curatorial Outputs | 2006
    Tello V, 2006, Feminist Actions, exhibited at: Spacement, Next Wave Festival, Melbourne, 15 March 2006 - 26 March 2006, Feminist Actions, http://nextwave.org.au/gallery/next-wave-festival-2006/
  • Media | 2017
    Tello V; Tawale S, 2017, Culture Connect, Murray Albury Museum of Art,

2021-2024: Australian Research Council, Linkage, Australian Regional Art Museums, Resettlement and Structural Change, with Ien Ang (Western Sydney Uni) and Salote Tawale (USyd) and Murray Art Museum Albury.

2020: Australia Council for Arts - Individual and Group Project funding, Australian Exhibition Histories: Margins and Institutions: Art in Chile after 1973 (1986) 

2019-2021: PLuS Alliance Research Fellowship, Latin American Art Networks 

2015-2018: UNSW Vice-Chancellor's Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Decolonial Futures and Contemporary Art

2015: Bundanon Trust Writer’s Residency, Counter-Memorial Aesthetics: Refugee Histories and the Politics of Contemporary Art 

My Research Supervision


June Miskell (art history/theory) - Archipealogic thinking and Filipinx contemporary art (with Mina Roces and Astrid Lorange)

Teresa Hunter-Hicks (art theory/history) – Labour, Collaboration and Collectivity in Australian and North American Poster Collectives (1968-1991) (with Diana Baker Smith)

Angela Goddard (curatorial, practice-led research) - World Making Strategies and Curatorial Support Structures in Australia (with Felicity Fenner and Lizzie Muller)

Jade Muratore (practice-led research) - Queer histories and para-fiction (with Diana Baker Smith, Rochelle Haley and Grant Stevens)

Anabelle Lacroix (curatorial, practice-led research) - Insomniac aesthetics, desynchrony and the museum (with Caleb Kelly) 


Aneshka Mora (art theory/history) – Decolonialisation and Institutional Critique in Contemporary Australian Art (with Bianca Hester)

James Nguyen (practice-led research) – Making Chó bò*: Troubling Việtspeak: Collaborating, translating, and archiving with family in Australian contemporary art (with Jennifer Biddle), 2021.

Meredith Birrell (art theory/history) –The Fugitive Self: Posthuman subjectivity in the Essay-Films of The Otolith Group, Hito Steyerl and Ursula Biemann, 2020.


Lisa Myeonjoo  (with Diana Baker Smith)

Evgenia (Jenny) Anagnostopoulou, Untitled (topic: curatorial experiments and the global souths) (with Diana Baker Smith)


Lu Forsberg, Counter-Surveillance, Extractivism and Eco-Aesthetics (with Diana Baker Smith). 2022

Amber Hammad, Speculative History and Critique of Gender in/out of Pakistan (joint with Diana Baker Smith). 2022

Elena Gomez, Admit the Joyous Passion of Revolt: Gender, Labour and Inter-generationality in Marxist-feminist poetics, (joint with Astrid Lorange). 2019

Amy Prcevich, Experiments with temporality of 'office work'  (with Diana Baker Smith) 



Nicola Marshall, Gossip as Archival Method in Post-War Lebanese Contemporary Art, 2020

June Miskell, Embodied Knowledge And Collective Survival: Dance And Community In The Work Of Bhenji Ra, 2019.

Evgenia Anagnostopoulos, Crisis and The Curatorial: Tracing Emergent Forms Of Institutional Activity in Athens, 2018.

Melissa Mills, Performing and Contesting the Archive in Sites of Crisis, 2018.

Aneshka Mora, Indigenous and Migrant Solidarity in Contemporary Australian Art, 2017.

Hannah Waters, Visualising Necropolitics: Renzo Martens' Enjoy Poverty and Abbas Kiarostami's ABC Africa, 2017.


My Teaching

I convene the following courses within the Bachelor of Fine Art - across art history/theory, curatorial and studio: 

  • Australian Art, 1st year level (Art History/Theory)
  • Global Contemporary Art, 3rd-year level (Art History/Theory) and Masters of Curating and Cultural Leadership
  • Contemporary Art and Research Methods, 4th year/Honours level (Studio and Theory)