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Tue, Feb 23


Interactive Online Lecture

Chi'ixi: Indigenism or the gesture of returning the gaze

Bite-size lecture. Part of the course "A brief history of art in Latin America in the XX century".

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Chi'ixi: Indigenism or the gesture of returning the gaze
Chi'ixi: Indigenism or the gesture of returning the gaze

Time & Location

Feb 23, 2021, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM GMT

Interactive Online Lecture

About the event

You are invited to view the individual lectures of the course "A brief history of art in Latin America in the XX century". 

If you are interested in the whole course and decide to purchase it after your class, the price of this class will be discounted from the full price of the course. You will receive access to the recordings of the previous classes. 

About this Lecture: 

During the 1920s and 1930s, the pursuit of national identity in Latin America led many artists and intellectuals to reclaim the importance of indigenous traditions within the continent. There was a clear intention to increase the indigenous man's visibility, which had remained non-existent within the mainstream artistic tradition. Nevertheless, despite their intention, many of the artists and governments that supported this direction ended up creating an idealised, romantic version of the native Americans that was quite distanced from the reality that many indigenous tribes were living at the time. Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui introduced the concept of Chi'ixi to explore new ways of understanding the relationship between the indigenous, Spanish and mestizos, and proposing indigenous people as modern beings instead of primitive or traditional ones. This new proposal paved the way for many artists to explore their indigenous identity and contemporaneity in their work.

About the Course:

This 6-week course will provide you with an overview of key historical elements that shaped the Latin-American art scene of the 20th Century. Despite the current debate over the use of the term "Latin American Art", art-historian Daniela Galan will guide an in-depth critical discussion on the patterns, dissonances, similarities and tensions that determined Latin America’s importance in the global contemporary art scene. Through the analysis of 50 artworks, we will study concepts such modernism; post-colonialism; the relationship between social realism and politics; universalism, primitivism and the construction of the fantastic; abstraction vs concretism; among others.

Each lesson which will include a one-hour lecture, one-hour Q&A discussion, and will be accompanied by a suggested reading list.

Session 1: Universalism or National Identity?

Session 2: Dream or Reality? Dismantling the fantastic.

Session 3: Chi'ixi: Indigenism or the gesture of returning the gaze.

Session 4: Creating Illusions: Geometric Abstraction & Op Art.

Session 5: Figuration, Expressionism and Environments

Session 6: Conceptualism as a political device.


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