CONF Feb 19, 2021

Rethinking Conceptualism in Latin American Art (online, 10-25 Mar 21)

Online, Mar 10–25, 2021

Katerina Valdivia Bruch, Berlin

Symposium "Rethinking Conceptualism: Avant-Garde, Activism and Politics in Latin American Art (1960s-1980s)"

Between the 1960s and 1980s, several Latin American countries were under military rule. At that time, there was a wave of mass awakening, a surge of social awareness in Latin America calling for more social justice, influenced mainly by the Cuban Revolution (1953-1959), amongst other socialist initiatives. At the same time, there was a need to find new ways to maintain local economies without accepting the monopoly and profit of international enterprises. In this context, socialist ideas spread across the hemisphere, primarily focused against U.S. Imperialism.
This political upheaval created a sense of unity among many Latin American countries. And, despite the fact that these states had different levels of foreign intervention and diverse social and cultural developments, they were unified by a social element: the fight for social justice and longing for change was understood as something relevant to the whole subcontinent. The common spirit of correspondence and the internationalism, arising from this sociopolitical context, paved the way for the establishment of a number of networks for solidarity and protest.
Under these conditions, a number of artists across Latin America turned to art as a tool for demonstration, aiming to foster social change. During this period, some artists and critics also looked for ways to describe this artistic production, identifying aspects they considered characteristic of the Latin American subcontinent.
Within this framework, the symposium on conceptual art from Latin America "Rethinking Conceptualism: Avant-Garde, Activism and Politics in Latin American Art (1960s-1980s)" presents an overview of conceptual art practices in Latin America from the 1960s to the 1980s, showing its characteristics and particularities that set it apart from the mainstream conceptualist art canon in Europe and the U.S. One of the aims of this event is to spread awareness of this lesser-known moment in art history in Germany, showing how Latin American artists explored the potential of art, politics and the avant-garde.
Additionally, the project strives to make visible the links between Latin America and Germany, by showing the work of the protagonists of that period and their ties to Germany, and by presenting an exhibition of works by Latin American artists living in Berlin, who depict their view of Latin America from the diaspora.

Katerina Valdivia Bruch
Artistic director and curator


10 March 2021:
Theories on Latin American Art: Juan Acha, Marta Traba, Luis Camnitzer
Panel discussion with Joaquín Barriendos, María Mercedes Herrera Buitrago and Luis Camnitzer

Curator and researcher, Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, UNAM, Mexico City
Juan Acha: Rethinking Latin America from the Margins

Art historian and independent curator, Bogotá
Para una teoría del arte latinoamericano. Marta Traba y la vanguardia no objetual (For a Theory on Latin American Art: Marta Traba and the Non-Objectual Avant-Garde)

Artist and theorist, New York
"Conceptualism in Latin America: Didactics of Liberation", 14 Years Later

Moderated by Katerina Valdivia Bruch

11 March 2021:
Havana Utopia
Discussion with Gerardo Mosquera

Independent curator and art critic, La Habana/Madrid
The presentation will briefly examine the Havana Biennial’s collective creation of a new internationa-lism in art in the framework of Cold War’s Cuba and its Third World politics, and the contradictions it involved.

Moderated by Katerina Valdivia Bruch

12 March 2021:
Conceptualism in Hélio Oiticica and Gloria Gómez-Sánchez
Panel discussion with Lisette Lagnado and Emilio Tarazona

Curator and author, former co-curator 11th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, São Paulo/Berlin
The Intricacies of Hélio Oiticica's Conceptualism in his "Programa Ambiental"

Independent curator, Lima/Bogotá
Por un arte de propagación: Gloria Gómez-Sánchez y los inicios del conceptualismo en el Perú (For an Art of Dissemination: Gloria Gómez-Sánchez and the Beginning of Conceptualism in Peru)

Moderated by Daniela Labra

17 March 2021:
The First Latin American Conference on Non-Objectual Art and Urban Art
Discussion with Jorge Lopera on "The First Latin American Conference on Non-Objectual Art and Urban Art", that took place in Medellín in 1981.

Independent researcher and curator, Medellín/Mexico City
Primer Coloquio Latinoamericano sobre Arte No-objetual y Arte Urbano: búsquedas de un pensamiento visual independiente (The First Latin American Conference on Non-Objectual Art and Urban Art: A Quest for an Independent Visual Thought)

Moderated by Katerina Valdivia Bruch

18 March 2021:
Artists' Archives and Collectives
Panel discussion with Ana Longoni, Vania Markarian and Fernanda Carvajal

Art historian and curator, Director of Public Programmes at MNCARS (Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía) in Madrid, Buenos Aires/Madrid
Embutes de la memoria (Memory Hideouts)

Historian, Archivo General de la Universidad de la República (AGU-UdelaR), Montevideo
Clemente Padín en el Archivo General de la Universidad de la República (Clemente Padín at the Archivo General de la Universidad de la República)
This video presentation is co-authored with Julio Cabrio (AGU-UdelaR)

Sociologist and researcher, member of Red Conceptualismos del Sur, Santiago de Chile/Buenos Aires
Astucia práctica y potencias de lo común en el Archivo CADA (Practical Cleverness and the Power of the Common in CADA's Archive)

Moderated by Mayra Bottaro

19 March 2021:
Art, Memory and Violence: Examples from Colombia and Perú
Panel discussion with Óscar Ardila Luna and Víctor Vich

Art historian and independent curator, Bogotá/Berlin
Campos de memoria/Erinnerungsfelder. Intervenciones artísticas en el espacio público en Colombia, 2000-2011 (Fields of Memory: Artistic Interventions in Public Spaces in Colombia, 2000–2011)

Researcher and author, Full Professor at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú and Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes, Lima
Noticia última: los nuevos lenguajes de la memoria (Breaking News: The New Languages of Memory)

Moderated by María Linares

24 March 2021:
Latin American Women Artists
Panel discussion with Cecilia Fajardo-Hill and Claudia Calirman

Art historian and independent curator, Southern California and New York
Conceptualisms in "Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960-1985"

Art historian and curator, Associate Professor of Art History at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York
Sticking Out The Tongue: Brazilian Women Artists in the 1970s

Moderated by Katerina Valdivia Bruch

25 March 2021:
Discussion Third Cinema and Internationalism
Discussion with Cecilia Lacruz, Olivier Hadouchi, Miguel Errazu and Mariano Mestman

Film researcher, Grupo de Estudios Audiovisuales, GestA-UdelaR, Montevideo
Una imagen para el Tercer cine (An Image for Third Cinema)

Independent film researcher (PhD in Film Studies) and curator, Paris
Sources, Origins and Projects of Third Cinema in the Context of Latin American Film Manifestos & Third World's Struggles

Postdoctoral researcher, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana - Lerma (México), Madrid/Mexico City
Internacionalismo y localismo en el Tercer cine mexicano (Internationalism and Localism in Mexican Third Cinema)

Researcher in cultural history, CONICET-UBA, Buenos Aires
Latinoamericanismo/Tercermundismo (1968-1974): Del Congreso Cultural de La Habana a los Estados Generales del Tercer Cine (Latin Americanism/Third Worldism (1968-1974): From the Havana
Cultural Congress to the General Estates of Third Cinema)

In conversation with Peter B. Schumann

Note: The discussion "Third Cinema and Internationalism" will be held in Spanish.


The symposium "Rethinking Conceptualism" will take place entirely online. All lectures will be recorded in advance and will be available on YouTube during the month of March 2021.
The live online meetings will be Q & A sessions (in English language), in which the audience will have the chance to enter in a conversation with the speakers and discuss the topics of the lectures.
We recommend you to watch the videos before the Zoom meetings with the speakers.



Additional programme, in Berlin:

26 – 31 March 2021
Exhibition "Between Personal Chronicles and Collective Memory", curated by Katerina Valdivia Bruch
Instituto Cervantes Berlin, Rosenstraße 18, 10178 Berlin

Opening: 26 March 2021, 19:00 h

María Linares (Bogotá/Berlin)
Daniela Lehmann Carrasco (Santiago de Chile/Berlin)
Ana María Millán (Cali/Berlin)
Yoel Díaz Vázquez (La Habana/Berlin)

Opening hours: 11:00 - 19:00 h
Workshops with the artists: 27 March 2021, 11:00 - 14:00 h


Rethinking Conceptualism: Avant-Garde, Activism and Politics in Latin American Art (1960s-1980s)
A project by Katerina Valdivia Bruch

In collaboration with: Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut, Instituto Cervantes Berlin
Funded by: Hauptstadtkulturfonds, Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen
With the support of: Embassy of Uruguay in Germany, Embassy of Chile in Germany

Facebook: /rethinkingconceptualism
Twitter: @RConceptualism
Instagram: @rconceptualism/
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CONF: Rethinking Conceptualism in Latin American Art (online, 10-25 Mar 21). In:, Feb 19, 2021 (accessed Mar 2, 2021), <>.