Common Ground

Curatorial Activism: A Conversation with Maura Reilly & Friends

Featuring Patricia Cronin, Cecilia Fajardo-Hill, Nur Sobers-Khan, and Jasmine Wahi

 

1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Weekly conversations with social justice practitioners, changemakers, and activists.

Please join us for our third installment of Common Ground featuring artist Patricia Cronin, and curators Cecilia Fajardo-Hill, Nur Sobers-Khan, and Jasmine Wahi with Maura Reilly for a conversation on Curatorial Activism. We will close with a poetry reading by Camilo Roldán.

At the start of quarantine, the Brooklyn Rail asked how might we stay connected to each other in a time of self-isolation? Now we ask: How can we stay involved and engaged in upholding our civic responsibility to one another across communities? How can we deploy this community we have built through the New Social Environment—through hundreds of conversations and meals shared over the past six months—to mobilize daily action for grassroots movements, social justice and equity projects, and for the political good of our most marginalized communities across the nation? Common Ground will be taking over the New Social Environment Thursday 1pm slot—beginning immediately and continuing up to the presidential election—and will convene weekly on Thursdays at 1pm Eastern from Sept 3rd through Nov 5th.

We will close with a poetry reading by Camilo Roldán.

In this talk

Maura Reilly

Maura Reilly
Photo by Rochelle S. Paris
Maura Reilly is a curator who has organized dozens of exhibitions internationally with a specific focus on marginalized artists. She has written extensively on global contemporary art and curatorial practice, including, most recently Curatorial Activism: Towards an Ethics of Curating (Thames & Hudson, 2018), which was named a “Top 10 Best Art Book of 2018” by the New York Times. Reilly is the Founding Curator of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, where she developed and launched the first exhibition and public programming space in the USA devoted entirely to feminist art. While there, she organized several landmark exhibitions, including the permanent installation of Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party, the blockbuster Global Feminisms (co-curated with Linda Nochlin), Ghada Amer: Love Had No End, among many others. She is a founding member of two initiatives dedicated to fighting discrimination against women in the art world – The Feminist Art Project (TFAP) and Feminist Curators United (FcU). In 2015, Reilly was named one of the Top 50 most influential people in the art world by Art & Auction, in recognition of her advocacy for women artists. She received her M.A. and PhD in art history from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, and is an Editor-at-Large for the Brooklyn Rail. Reilly is Associate Professor of Art History and Museum Studies at Arizona State University.

Patricia Cronin

Patricia Cronin
Photo by Grace Roselle, Pandora’s Box
Patricia Cronin is an interdisciplinary conceptual artist whose work examines issues of gender, sexuality and social justice. Cronin’s work has been exhibited widely in the U.S. and internationally, including Shrine For Girls at the 56th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy and traveled to The FLAG Art Foundation, New York, NY and the LAB Gallery, Dublin, Ireland. Other solo exhibitions were presented at the Capitoline Museum’s Centrale Montemartini Museum, Rome, Italy; Newcomb Art Museum, New Orleans, LA; Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY; and Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, FL. Her pioneering Marriage Equality sculpture, Memorial To A Marriage (2002) has been exhibited widely including the Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, the American Academy in Rome, Italy and throughout the United States. Bronze versions are in the permanent collections of Kelvingrove Art Galleries and Museum, Glasgow, Scotland; Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC; The FLAG Art Foundation, New York, NY; Perez Art Museum Miami, FL and Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, NY where it is permanently on view on her burial plot. She is Professor of Art at Brooklyn College of The City University of New York.

Cecilia Fajardo-Hill

Cecilia Fajardo-Hill
Cecilia Fajardo-Hill is a British-Venezuelan art historian and curator with a specialization in modern and contemporary Latin American art. She is currently based in Southern California and New York. Fajardo-Hill holds a PhD in art history from the University of Essex, England, and an MA in 20th-century art history from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, England. Fajardo-Hill was co-curator of Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960-1985, which premiered at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, and traveled to the Brooklyn Museum, NY, and to the Pinacoteca, Sao Paulo, 2017-18. She is editor of the forthcoming book Remains Tomorrow: Themes in Contemporary Latin American Abstraction, which examines post-1990s abstraction in Latin America. She is co-editor of a forthcoming book on 20th- and 21st-century Guatemalan art, an initiative of Harvard University and Arte GT 20/21, Guatemala. She is Visiting Scholar at the Chicano Studies Research Center at UCLA, and the co-curator of Xican-a.o.x.Body, a touring exhibition organized by the American Federation of Arts and Phoenix Art Museum, Arizona, opening in 2022. Presently Fajardo-Hill is working on a book on decolonializing Latin American and Latinx art history in the 20th- and 21st centuries, focusing on class, feminism, gender, indigeneity, African heritage, and popular culture. Fajardo-Hill has curated and written extensively on modern and contemporary Latin American art.

Nur Sobers-Khan

A photograph of Nur Sobers-Khan
Nur Sobers-Khan is the Lead Curator for South Asian Collections at the British Library, London, where she is responsible for curating a collection of books and manuscripts on the history of Islam in South Asia. Her current work focuses on dismantling the structures of colonial violence embedded in the curation and exhibition of these collections. Most recently she has been involved in the efforts of the library’s Decolonising Working Group, which aims to reconfigure the interpretation of artworks on display in the public and staff areas of the building, calling attention to the histories of imperial and colonialist violence embedded in their description (or lack thereof). Previous exhibitions include Qajar Women: Images of Women in 19th-century Iran, co-curated with Mounia Chekhab-Abudaya, which took place at the Museum of Islamic Art, Qatar and explored historical depictions of nonbinary gender identities in the context of canonical constructions of ‘Islamic art.’ She is currently Principle Investigator of the AHRC-funded research and digitisation project Two Centuries of Indian Print, and her research pivots around two questions at the moment: the role of the dispersal and removal of cultural heritage artifacts in South Asia under British colonialism as a contributing factor in shaping the emergence of Islamic reformism in the second half of the 19th century, and the transition from manuscript to print in the same period and its creation of new forms of reading and poetic improvisation through the circulation of texts on cosmology, dream interpretation and other genres of divinatory literature. She completed her BA and PhD in Oriental Studies at the University of Cambridge.

Jasmine Wahi

Jasmine Wahi
Photo by Dario Calmese
Jasmine Wahi is the Holly Block Social Justice Curator at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, and the Founder + Co-Director of Project for Empty Space, a Newark, NJ based non profit organization that supports artists who are interested in social discourse and activism. Her practice predominantly focuses on issues of female empowerment, complicating binary structures within social discourses, and exploring multi-positional cultural identities through the lens of intersectional feminism. In 2019, Wahi joined the TED speaker family with her first TEDx talk on intersectionality and visibility, entitled All The Women In Me Are Tired. Her work has been highlighted in Artforum, The New York Times, Hyperallergic, ArtNews, ARTSY, Vogue, NowThis, and Breitbart News. Wahi is a Visiting Critic at Yale University, and a faculty member at the School of Visual Arts: MFA Fine Arts department. Jasmine Wahi received her Masters in Art History from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts. She lives with her chihuahua mutt, Momo, in Brooklyn.

The Rail has a tradition of ending our conversations with a poem, and we’re fortunate to have Camilo Roldán reading.

Camilo Roldán

Camilo Roldán
Camilo Roldán is a Colombian-American poet and translator. His first full-length book of poems, Dropout, was published in 2019 and a translation of María Paz Guerrero’s book, God is a Bitch Too (Dios también es una perra), is forthcoming from UDP in December 2020.