1992-2010: From Modern Colonial Nostalgia to the Illusion of Decolonised Modernity

María Iñigo Clavo

Fons audiovisual / Lectures and debates

In this session, we will review a series of exhibitions and art interventions taking place from the 1990s to this last decade that left their mark on Spanish art institutions. On the one hand, the period of the defence of European modernity coincided with the celebrations in Spain for the “discovery” of America. On the other hand, in the last decade European institutions have again shown interest in modernity, as revised from a post-colonial perspective, with the goal of acquiring new tools to rebuild the fragmentary history of the postmodern period. Faced with
current uncertainty on how to present history, new confidence has been placed on chronologies and national-modern values. It was precisely in the 1990s when the Latin American post-colonial perspective began to be developed in the American academy; in the following decade, this was consolidated and it became impossible to ignore that modernity was intrinsically bound to coloniality. Paradoxically, this did not damage the image of modernity, but rather raised curatorial interest in it amongst leading European institutions. Where have Spanish institutions positioned themselves in this new conceptualisation of European modernity, thinking both of exhibitions and artistic productions?

María Iñigo Clavo is Professor of the Arts BA at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC). Her theoretical work is focussed on coloniality, alterity, translation, untranslatability, epistemic diversity, curating and the art and politics of Latin America, with special interest in the art of Brazil. She has been a contracted researcher at the University of Essex (2009-2011), a post-doctoral
researcher at the FAPESP foundation of the University of São Paulo (2013-2016) and Visiting Professor at Central Saint Martins School of Arts (2015), as well as teaching graduate classes in these centres. She has collaborated with e-flux, Afterall, Stedelijk Museum Journal, Fran Hals Museum / De Hallen Haarlem Museum, Pragrana Magazine Berlin, Museo de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, Museo Reina Sofía, The Concinnitas Project, Bilboquet and the Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Madrid. She was the editor of issue 7 of the journal Re-visiones, with the title “Is it Possible to Decolonise Western Methodologies? The South as Interlocution.”

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