The Blood’s Old Song

Contemporary Art, Ancestry and Indigenous Cosmopolitanism

Monday, 14 December 2020 - 7pm
Nouvel Building, Auditorium 200

Free, until full capacity is reached, with prior ticket collection on the Museo Reina Sofía website from 10am on 11 December. A maximum of 1 per person. Doors open thirty minutes before the activity. 

Organised by:

Museo Reina Sofía

Force line:

Action and Radical Imagination 

With the collaboration of:

the Electroacoustic Music Association of Spain (AMEE)

K´astajinem Collective, Totonicapán, Guatemala, 2014. Photo: Reyes Josué Morales
K´astajinem Collective, Totonicapán, Guatemala, 2014. Photo: Reyes Josué Morales

What are we talking about when we say indigenous contemporary art? How can we approach racialised artistic practices, beyond a violent colonial translation? What does it mean to think about ancestry as an ontological force? This activity, the title of which draws inspiration from the poem Ojer bix re ri kik’el (The Blood’s Old Song), by the K’iche’ Maya writer Humberto Ak’abal, sets forth an introduction to artistic practices articulated from places of occlusion and silence.  

In this lecture, curator Pablo José Ramírez renders an account of forms of racialisation that disrupt the capitalisation of difference and the semantic abduction of non-Western cultures. Furthermore, he seeks to reflect on the paradoxical nature of the relationship between contemporary art and indigeneity as a creative force that fractures repertoires of “global” collections and the canon of Western museum practices.   

Prior to this presentation, on 12 and 13 December, Ramírez will conduct a workshop in the Electroacoustic Music Association of Spain (AMEE) around the research project Sound Realism, propelled through the digital platform Infrasonica, which explores the relationships between non-Western visual/sound practices and politics.

Pablo José Ramírez is a curator, writer and cultural theorist who investigates post-colonial societies to render an account of non-Western ontologies, indigeneity and forms of racial occlusion. He holds an MA in Contemporary Art Theory from Goldsmiths, University of London. With Cecilia Fajardo-Hill, he curated the 19th Paiz Biennale: Transvisible (Guatemala City, 2015), and was a guest curator at the Parsons School of Design - The New School (New York, 2015) and at the Centre for Contemporary Arts (Glasgow, 2014). In 2019, he received the Independent Curators International/CPPC Travel Award for Central America and the Caribbean. At the present time he is adjunct curator of Indigenous Art and First Nations at Tate Modern, London, chief editor and co-founder of Infrasonica, and part of the curatorial team for the International Carnegie Biennial in 2022.