Presidential Debate + Ángel Rafael Vázquez-Concepción: The Stuff of Trouble, Part 2

Radical Art Theory Nights

Presidential Debate + Ángel Rafael Vázquez-Concepción: The Stuff of Trouble, Part 2

Conversations on borders and cultural hybridity

Wednesday, October 19, 2016
7:00 – 8:30 PM  **presidential debate-viewing starts at 6:00 PM!**
Southern Exposure
Event can host up to 20 participants, RSVP at Eventbrite

A wall that divides the public is the stuff of trouble. Let us remember Richard Serra’s Tilted Arc (1981) – after much controversy, the City of New York removed that sculptural wall in the same year, 1989, that another symbol of division came crashing down: the debated and despised Berlin Wall. Now we face the possibility of another wall: proposed by Donald Trump to separate two countries with a rich and irrefutable shared history, as well as millions of inhabitants each connected by familial ties that extend through generations. Such a wall serves as a refutation, a mutilation, a betrayal of cultural hybridity.

In this second gathering of a two-part conversation on borders and cultural hybridity, the discussion will center around a text by post-colonial theorist Achille Mbembe. The term necropolitics, coined in his 2003 article of the same name, provides a framework for understanding and critiquing the reasoning of those who seek to divide, destroy, and profit (monetarily or politically). Vázquez-Concepción will summarize the work of the artists discussed in The Stuff of Trouble, Part 1, highlighting the ways in which aesthetics, militarization, and mourned lives converge in their work.

Required Reading:

  • Achille Mbembe, “Necropolitics,” in Public Culture (Winter 2003), Duke University Press

This iteration of Radical Art Theory Nights is presented in conjunction with Estamos contra el muro | We Are Against the Wall, a project by Sita Kuratomi Bhaumik currently on view at Southern Exposure. Participants are encouraged to attend the Community Demolition Party on October 15. Also, check out The Stuff of Trouble, Part 1 on October 5. This is a separate but linked event, with separate registration.

Ángel Rafael Vázquez-Concepción is an independent curator based in San Francisco, and the founder of Cranium Corporation. He is a firm believer in collaboration and art as a tool for education and civics. Vázquez-Concepción obtained an MA in Curatorial Practice from the California College of the Arts in 2015. He has curated exhibitions at the Puerto Rico Museum of Contemporary Art, the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture, and ÁREA: Space for Projects, in Caguas, Puerto Rico. He has also served as editor and curator of Conboca, an online independent cultural criticism platform based in San Juan, Puerto Rico, that operated between 2006 and 2014. In San Francisco, he has contributed exhibitions to the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, Minnesota Street Project, CTRL+SHFT Collective, the Red Poppy Art House, and the GLBT History Museum.

Radical Art Theory Nights are conversations about art theory, art history, or research-based art practices that reflect on narratives of the historically marginalized. Visiting writers, curators, and artists contend with both current and canonized concerns, critically engage with texts, and lead open community discussions. The series makes art theory and art history relevant, necessary, and accessible.

Radical Art Theory Nights are facilitated and organized by C.A. Greenlee in partnership with Southern Exposure’s Artists in Education program.