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AMALGAMA Champions

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Katerina Valdivia Bruch

Katerina Valdivia Bruch is a Berlin-based independent curator and arts writer. She holds a BA in Philosophy (Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú), a postgraduate diploma in Cultural Policies and Management (Universitat de Barcelona), and an MA in Museum Studies and Critical Theory (Independent Study Programme, MACBA/Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona). Katerina has curated exhibitions and organised talks, symposia and lectures for a number of institutions, including ZKM-Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Bielefelder Kunstverein (Bielefeld), Grimmuseum (Berlin), CCCB (Barcelona), Instituto Cervantes (Berlin and Munich), Instituto Cultural de León (Mexico), Para/Site Art Space (Hong Kong), and the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore. In 2008, she was co-curator of the Prague Triennale at the National Gallery in Prague. Besides her work as a curator, she contributes essays and articles to art publications and magazines. 


Katerina is the artistic director of "Rethinking Conceptualism: Avant-Garde, Activism and Politics in Latin American Art (the 1960s-1980s)", that comprises an online programme with reading sessions and workshops, a symposium on conceptual art from Latin America, and an exhibition with workshops, that will be held in Berlin.

Where do you find inspiration in everyday life? How have you stayed inspired during the pandemic?


My inspiration comes through walking. There is a river close to where I live and I do daily walks around that area. Other sources of inspiration are dance, music and books. 


One thing that kept me inspired were the topics of the symposium. As soon as the pandemic started and had to postpone the project (initially planned to take place in April 2020), I developed an online platform with monthly reading sessions and workshops. This idea came out of the need to initiate a conversation with the audience and to introduce some of the themes of the symposium "Rethinking Conceptualism", which ran from 10 to 25 March 2021.


Which exhibition, work of art or event are you looking forward to in 2021?


The lockdown has been postponed again in Berlin, and I’ve not been able to go to any exhibition this year. An event I am looking forward to is actually the exhibition "Between Personal Chronicles and Collective Memory", a show that I curated and had to be postponed twice, due to the pandemic. The exhibition features works by Latin American artists living in Berlin: María Linares (Bogotá/Berlin), Daniela Lehmann Carrasco (Santiago de Chile/Berlin), Ana María Millán (Cali/Berlin) and Yoel Díaz Vázquez (La Habana/Berlin). 


Initially, the exhibition was supposed to be the final programme of the symposium "Rethinking Conceptualism" and now it is taking place from 2 to 10 June 2021. We might even do an open-air opening event if the weather permits it. So, I am really looking forward to it.


What do you think of Amalgama's mission to champion and raise the profiles of women artists from Latin America, Spain and Portugal?


In general, I support initiatives that make visible different voices in the arts field, not only women artists, but also other underrepresented communities. I think Amalgama is a good way to open a dialogue to a broader audience on practices by women artists in Latin America. 


For its colonial connotations, I am curious to know more about the way you are connecting the Latin American subcontinent to Spain and Portugal. Seeing it from today's perspective, I find it a bit problematic to put these geopolitical regions together and I would love to see how Amalgama makes people familiar with this historical background, knowing that some works by Latin American women artists have a clear decolonial agenda.


How do you champion women artists and artists from Latin America?


The online reading sessions I have been organising since May 2020 have been mainly about women writers, theorists and/or curators. One of the panel discussions of the symposium "Rethinking Conceptualism", the one taking place on 24 March 2021, is dedicated to Latin American women artists.  

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