CONF May 30, 2022

Oscar Muñoz in Context (online, 3 Jun 22)

Online, Jun 03, 2022

Holly Borham

June 3, 12:00 PM, CST
Vanessa Davidson, Blanton Museum of Art

12:10 PM: Jerónimo Duarte-Riascos, Columbia University
The Unintelligibility of the Real – Thoughts on Oscar Muñoz and Other Cases in Colombian Contemporary Art
Much of the criticism centered around Muñoz’s work has highlighted the potency of his practice as a device of remembrance, as a way to return the spectator to a reality that has often disappeared. This talk proposes a different reading, one in which the practice underscores the unintelligibility of the real and reminds us that any attempt to grasp it requires the production of a fiction. After analyzing some of the pieces that are part of Invisibilia, the presentation comments briefly on how other contemporary Colombian artists grapple with similar concerns.

12:45 PM: María Wills Londoño, Boston University
Oscar Muñoz: Breathing Memory into the Colombian Peace Process
This talk locates the work of artist Oscar Muñoz in the context of a precarious peace process currently unfolding in Colombia and the artivism that has undoubtedly raised consciousness, created bonds of solidarity, and demanded structural transformation. It is impossible to deny the great impact that artists and activists have had in demanding an end to a bloody civil war and catalyzing Transitional Justice in Colombia. Muñoz’s works powerfully alert us of our collective responsibility in remembering those lost and in building the conditions for non-recurrence.


1:30 PM: Ana María Reyes, Curator and Director of the Banco de la República Art Museums, Bogotá
Ruins, Traces of Memory in Colombian Contemporary Art: Oscar Muñoz, Fernell Franco, Nicolas Consuegra, Colectivo maski, Leyla Cardenas, and María Isabel Rueda
Ruins are taken here as a symbolic and poetic tool in contemporary art— beyond baroque nostalgia, and more towards a political statement of the implicit possibilities of appropriation, recycling and reinvention of apparent loss. Photography related to the city, which is the central theme of this paper, has also historically had an ambivalent position. The selected artists face the challenge of reinventing the photographic technique and, in some cases, make this the center of their work. But this is always a questioning that is quite political: Is the ruin a metaphor for failure? Or is it a symbol of persistence and is it necessary to incorporate it as a permanent space and not a transitional one? In Colombia, the nostalgia for the ruin is more of a trauma.

2:05 PM: Bernardo Ortiz, Artist, Writer, and Curator
Doubt as Ethos: Oscar Muñoz and the Art Scene in Cali in the late 1990’s – early 2000’s
My talk will discuss the pivotal role that Oscar Muñoz played in Cali during the late and early aughts; between the collapse of the Cali Cartel (1996) and the founding of Lugar a Dudas (2004). This was a moment of institutional debacle at all levels in Cali. Paradoxically, it was also a very fertile moment for the art scene. A number of artist-run initiatives took over from traditional art institutions and paved the way to what happened in 2010 with Lugar a Dudas. Muñoz’s role was apparently inconspicuous, but key to connecting different generations of artists to the city that has always informed his work. Lugar a Dudas could be read as a way of dealing with issues close to Muñoz’s art, but in a way that is both very public and very vocal and at the same time self-effacing. As if the lessons that the work proposes poetically could be applied politically.

2:35 PM—3 PM: Audience Q&A/Panel Discussion

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CONF: Oscar Muñoz in Context (online, 3 Jun 22). In:, May 30, 2022 (accessed Sep 29, 2023), <>.