PhD, Art History/Visual Culture, University of Melbourne, 2013
Senior Lecturer, Contemporary Art History and Theory
I am a Chilean-Australian art historian and writer. My research predominantly focuses on queer and migratory archives in/out of the Pacific, Latin America and Australia.
I completed my PhD (art history) at the University of Melbourne in 2013. My PhD was the basis of my first book, Counter-Memorial Aesthetics: Refugee Histories and the Politics of Contemporary Art (Radical Aesthetics Radical Art series, Bloomsbury Philosophy, 2016). The book takes as its historical focus the protracted ‘global refugee crisis' from the 1990s to the present, across Australia, the UK and the Americas. It analyses how, within contexts marked by intensified border politics, contemporary artists have been grappling with how to represent, archive or abstract contested migratory histories. Within national landscapes brimming 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 South: 8 Dialogues on Art and History is forthcoming (Dec, 2021) with Third Text Publications as a bilingual (English/Spanish) edition. Through 8 dialogues, the book develops a moving conceptual vocabulary of the aesthetics, politics, histories and potentialities of the Global South in collaboration with artists, writers and curators such as: Salote Tawale, Rolando López, Walter Mignolo, Dylan AT Miner, Zoe Butt, Jennifer Biddle, Ruth Simbao, Rachel O'Reilly, Carla Macchiavello and many others. (The project began in 2017 as an online dialogical project, futuresouths.org, and is substantially developed for the book).
In my current scholarship, I have been focussing on the archive of the queer/Chilean artist Juan Dávila, and my own archive through methods of auto-theory. This new project has two main strands: the first focuses on the exhibition history of Margins and Institutions: Art in Chile after 1973 (1986), which I read as forging queer and transnational solidarity networks between Chilean and Australian arts workers, especially Juan Dávila, Paul Foss, Paul Taylor and Nelly Richard, during the Pinochet dictatorship. I will be developing a monograph on the exhibition history of Margins and Institutions, a critical re-staging of exhibition in Santiago (originally the exhibition was only seen Australia - across the Experimental Art Foundation, George Paton Gallery, Artspace, Chameleon and Praxis, parts of this project are developed in collaboration with the Chilean archivist, Sebastián Valenzuela Valdivia). The second strand of this new project focuses on Juan Dávila's video and performance work, and how these works unsettle the heteronormative/settler-colonial logics of Australian art history.
In addition, I am currently working on an ARC Linkage project focussed on how collections and archives can catalyse epistemological experiments and equity (or, structural change) within Australian regional art museums.
"Juan Dávila, Self-Portrait as Ingre’s Violin (1984)", Queer Readings of the Monash University Collection, 2021. Available here.
"I, You, We, Together: For Juan, Paul and Paul", Barbara Cleveland: Thinking Business, Eds Diana Baker Smith and Kate Blackmore, Goulburn, 2020. Available here.
"What is Contemporary about Institutional Critique?", Third Text, 2020. Available here.
with Diana Baker Smith, Opening Night (The Order of Arrangements) (2020), Know My Name, National Gallery of Australia. Details here.
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