Tuesday 06/23/20 2PM
Conversations · Exhibition-Related

Ecofiction at the End of the World

Cover Image:

Ensayos, Archipelagic Editing, 2018. digital photograph, dimensions variable. Courtesy Camila Marambio

[Alt text: A woman sits with her back to the camera at a desk with a computer editing station in a room with floor to ceiling windows, beyond which lies a green forest and the water horizon of Waratah Bay in Gippsland, Australia.]

This conversation takes the second season of the Ensayos web series “DISTANCIA” as a starting point to discuss the ethical dimensions of storytelling. Specifically, DISTANCIA collaborators will explore situated identity in relation to the physical, social, historical, and psychic landscape of Tierra del Fuego. Carolina Saquel and Camila Marambio, who imagined and realized the web series, and Ariel Bustamante, sound artist, will each briefly present their varied positions to questions of truth-telling that arose while editing their large accumulation of audio and visual field recordings for season two. Their statements, illustrated with clips and images, will bring together different perspectives on representation, sensorial multi-species ethnography, and the complexities of being participant-observers. The participants will discuss to what degree it is possible to give up the power of framing and revising self-image in postproduction.

Anthropologist Michael Taussig, who also appears in the series, will respond and continue the conversation from the perspective of his unconventional scholarship, which challenges the authorial colonial violence of ethnographic study and its claims to objectivity.

A recording of this conversation is available here.

Ariel Bustamante (b. 1980, Chile; lives and works in La Paz, Bolivia) is a self-taught artist whose practice concentrates on long-term processes of both craftsmanship and experimental research. Based on the physical and social aspects of listening and conversation, Bustamante produces highly complex auditory spaces informed by the production of experiential inquiry methods. In 2016, Bustamente produced Conversation Room, a public sound sculpture installed in the center of Helsinki City, Finland. Over the course of two years, Bustamante and his team practiced conversation as a method for interpersonal self-exploration, developing techniques to subvert the norms and habits that operate when we think with others. Bustamante has written for the European Hz-Journal Magazine, Sweden. He has presented his projects at Matralab, Concordia University of Montreal and talked about his work at the Curatorial program at Goldsmiths, University of London. Bustamante has exhibited his projects at Harvestworks, New York; Linda Gallery, Beijing; The Transitio Electronic Arts Festival in Mexico City; and Liquid Architecture, Melbourne; the National Museum of Fine Arts, Chile; Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, among others.

Camila Marambio (b. 1979, Phoenix, Arizona; currently lives and works in Papudo, Chile) is a curator and Founder/Director of Ensayos. Motivated by the strong sentiment that Tierra del Fuego, despite its remoteness, is the center of the world, Ensayos brings together artists, scientists, and locals to exercise speculative and emergent forms of bio-cultural ethics. Maramibio holds a PhD in Curatorial Practice from Monash University, Naarm/Melbourne; a Master of Experiments in Art and Politics, Science Po, Paris; and a M.A. in Modern Art: Curatorial Studies from Columbia University, NYC. She attended the Curatorial Programme at de Appel Arts Center in Amsterdam (2006/2007) and has been curator-in-residence at Gertrude Contemporary in Naarm/Melbourne (2015), Kadist Art Foundation in Paris (2014), the Watermill Center in New York (2010), and Sørfinnset Skole in Norland, Norway (on multiple occasions). She was Chief Curator of Matucana 100 in Santiago (2008-2010) and Assistant Curator at Exit Art in New York City (2003-2005). Marambio is currently Guest Curator, Extended Research Project at the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Research Institute for the Study of Art from Latin America of the Museum of Modern Art. She is co-author of the books Slow Down Fast, A Toda Raja with Cecilia Vicuña (Errant Bodies Press, 2019) and Sandcastles: Cancerous Bodies and their Necro/Powers with Nina Lykke (forthcoming 2021).

Carolina Saquel (b. 1970, Concepción, Chile; lives and works in Paris, France) is a visual artist and former lawyer. In 2003 she was selected to study in Le Fresnoy, France, a two-year program that focuses on cross-disciplinary work between contemporary art and cinema. She uses the moving image as a medium for altering perceptions of temporality of seemingly unimportant events. Bodily gestures, the history of painting, nature stripped of human presence, and cinematographic as well as literary references are points of departure for her work in video and photography. Her work has been shown at Espai 13, Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona; Kadist Art Foundation, Paris; Harbourfront Centre, Toronto, Canadá; Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain de Strasbourg; Grand Palais, Paris; Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton, Paris; Bloomberg Space, London; and Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart.

Michael Taussig, PhD (b. 1940, Sydney, Australia; lives and works in New York City) is an anthropologist and author of several books, including the following: I Swear I Saw This; and Mastery of Non-Mastery in the Age of Meltdown (2020); What Color is the Sacred (2009); My Cocaine Museum (2004); The Devil and Commodity Fetishism in South America (1980); Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man: A Study in Terror and Healing (1987); Mimesis and Alterity (1993). He is professor of Anthropology at Columbia University.

Accessibility Information:
This event will be live captioned.


Artist commissions at the New Museum are generously supported by the Neeson / Edlis Artist Commissions Fund.

Artist residencies are made possible, in part, by:
Laurie Wolfert
The Research & Residencies Council of the New Museum

Presentation of “Fortunes of the Forest: Divination, Dance, and Story” has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

Support for New Museum Education and Public Engagement programs is provided, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Endowment support is provided by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund; the Skadden, Arps Education Programs Fund; and the William Randolph Hearst Endowed Fund for Education Programs at the New Museum.

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