This guided tour around the exhibition Graphic Turn. Like the Ivy on a Wall is set forth as a polyphonic exercise which seeks to pool some of the research devices and quandaries that have arisen during the curatorial process of this collective project propelled by the Southern Conceptualisms Network, the result of work over a five-year period carried out by thirty researchers in different geographical coordinates.
The exhibition brings together a wide array of graphic action tools — swiftly and efficiently circulated materials, initiatives and slogans outside the art field — from different origins and latitudes which connect forms of protest and dissidence on an international scale. Thus, the show understands the notion of “graphic art” in an expanded sense and the idea of “turn” as an uprising, as a challenge to power, reverting that which is a given. Currently under way or recent, these strategies of transformation and collective resistance look towards other movements from preceding decades from which they have drawn as though they were interconnected episodes. Consequently, this dialogue seeks to find not just coincidences and affinities between historical cycles, but also tensions, latencies and transformations in graphic art practices, putting forward a spiralling, not linear, temporality.
The tour commences with approaches that run through the research, before focusing on and discussing certain concepts that form the backbone of its narratives — the graphic turn, graphic bodies, untimely graphic art, (secret) border-crossings, delay and the persistence of memory, among others — and certain pivotal cases, such as the disappearance of forty-three students in Ayotzinapa, Mexico.
Clara Albinati (Belo Horizonte, 1983) is a professor of Contemporary Film at Pontifícia Universidade Católica in Minas Gerais, and an activist, independent film-maker and a member of the Southern Conceptualisms Network. She holds a PhD in Fine Arts from the Universidade Federal in Minas Gerais and studied film at the San Antonio de los Baños International School of Film and Television in Cuba.
Sol Henaro (Mexico City, 1976) is a researcher, curator and a member of the Southern Conceptualisms Network. She earned an Art degree from the University of the Cloister of Sor Juana and an MA in Museum Studies and Critical Theory from MACBA’s (Museu d’Art Contemporani, Barcelona) Independent Studies Programme. Her specialist field is the critical historiography of artistic practices from 1980 to the present day, and she researches output and artists “inside the folds of memory” and champions the creation and intervention of micro-narratives. Since 2015, she has curated Acervo Documental and oversees the Arkheia Documentation Centre at the Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC) in Mexico City.
Ana Longoni (La Plata, 1967) is a writer and researcher at Argentina’s National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), where she explores the crossroads between art and politics in Latin America. She holds a PhD in the Arts from the University of Buenos Aires, where she also lectures, and has propelled the Southern Conceptualisms Network since it was founded. She has curated the exhibitions Roberto Jacoby. Desire Rises from Collapse (Museo Reina Sofía, 2011), Losing the Human Form (Museo Reina Sofía, 2012), Provoked by Juan Carlos Uviedo (Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo – MUAC, Mexico City, 2016) and Oscar Masotta. Theory as Action (Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona - MACBA, 2017). From 2018 to 2021 she was director of the Museo Reina Sofía’s Public Activities Department.
Sylvia Suárez (Bogotá, 1981) is a professor in the Visual Arts Department at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, and a curator and art historian. In her career she has focused on Colombian and Latin American modern and contemporary art, and on the study of the links between artistic experimentation, politics, education and constructions of citizenry. Moreover, she is a member of the Taller Historia Crítica del Arte (Critical History of Art Workshop) research group and the Southern Conceptualisms Network.