Please join us from September 29-October 2 for an international symposium, Art and Confrontation in the Americas.
Please click here for full schedule, sponsors, and registration details. All events are free and open to the public but we recommend registering in advance.'
Description (from website above):
This event seeks to provide Charlottesville and the University of Virginia with a space to reflect on how art can be at once a mode of confrontation and a vehicle of reconciliation. What aesthetic practices have artists, activists and intellectuals used to critique violence and prefigure better futures? When and where does confrontation art fuel societal change or, conversely, question its own utility? Defining “art” broadly to include film, literature, music, visual culture and performance, the UVA Symposium on Art and Confrontation in the Americas / Las Américas provides a forum for discussing the intersections between art, civic life and activism throughout the hemisphere.
Keynote speakers Juan Manuel Echavarría, Fernando Grisalez and Gabriel Ossa will open the symposium on Sunday, September 29 at 7:00pm with a discussion of their artistic work and activism in Colombia. Echavarría, an artist committed to confronting the difficult realities of a country that has experienced decades of civil war, uses visual art to recover memory and make visible experiences that have been rendered invisible by the normalization of violence. Politically, Echavarría’s art intervenes in the contradictory space between official peace narratives and the violent realities that still affect many parts of Colombia, seeking ultimately to reconstruct a social body dismembered by war. Through his non-profit foundation Fundación Puntos de Encuentro, Echavarría also produces collective projects in which he steps aside as an individual creative agent to let others tell their stories and shape how the Colombian conflict is perceived in broader society.
The keynote remarks will be followed by two days of symposium presentations. Key points of discussion include the nature of confrontation; public art and memory; art in contentious spaces; and the various ways in which artistic interventions may “ripple into extra-artistic institutions and practices” (Sommer 2014, 7). By engaging with these issues, the symposium and visiting artist activities intend to place artists, activists and scholars from the US and Latin America in dialogue with the Charlottesville community.