Roski Talks: Karen Moss & Bill Kelley, Jr. with Paulina Varas & Jennifer Ponce de Léon

Karen Moss & Bill Kelley, Jr. with Paulina Varas & Jennifer Ponce de Léon

Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Free and open to all
No tickets required

Wong Conference Center, Harris Hall (HAR)
University Park Campus
Los Angeles 90089

Lecture: A Dialogue Around Talking to Action, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA

Talking to Action: Art, Pedagogy, and Activism in the Americas investigates contemporary community-based social art practices in Latin America and Los Angeles. The exhibition will feature a range of practices that blur the lines between object making, political and environmental activism, community organizing, and performance art, through the work of contemporary artists and collectives from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, and the U.S. The social practice artists included in Talking to Action address critical issues such as migration and memory, mapping, environmental problems and policies, gender rights and legislation, indigenous culture, and violence. The exhibition will feature a diverse array of projects, such as an exchange of correspondence between Buenos Aires-based artist Eduardo Molinari and Los Angeles artist Sandra de la Loza about social activism in their respective cities, and the work of the Mexican collective SEFT (Sonda de Exploración Ferroviaria Tripulada), which created a playfully futuristic vehicle to explore disused railroads. 

Exhibition presented at the Ben Maltz Gallery of Otis College of Art and Design.


Karen Moss | Acting Vice Dean of Critical Studies, USC Roski School of Art and Design

Karen Moss is a Los Angeles-based art historian, curator, educator, and writer, who organizes exhibitions, artists' residencies, performances, public programs, and pedagogical projects. Her areas of expertise include conceptual, performance, intermedia art since the 1960s, contemporary art and social practices, and experimental education. She first taught in the former Public Art Studies Program and has taught in Roski's MA Curatorial Program since it was founded ten years ago.


Moss is the consulting curator for Talking to Action, a multi-platform exhibition of social practice artists from seven Latin American countries and Los Angeles at the Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis College in fall 2017 for the Getty Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative. Previously, Moss co-curated State of Mind: New Art from California Circa 1970 for the Getty's Pacific Standard Time, Los Angeles, which toured throughout the US and Canada, 2011-2013. During her tenure as Deputy Director of Exhibitions and Programs at Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA), 2005-12, Moss curated numerous artists' projects and exhibitions and co-curated three of the California Biennials.


Prior to OCMA, Moss was Director of Exhibitions and Public Programs at San Francisco Art Institute, Curator and Director of Education and Public Programs at the Walker Art Center, and the first Director of Programs at the Santa Monica Museum of Art. Early in her career, she was an Assistant Curator at MOCA, Los Angeles, and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and she worked as a public lecturer at the Whitney Museum after attending the Whitney's Independent Study Program. 


Bill Kelley, Jr. | Lead Researcher and Curator of Talking to Action

Bill Kelley, Jr. is an educator, curator, and writer based in Los Angeles. He graduated with a master's in Colonial Art Studies from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque (UNM) and holds a Ph.D. in Art History, Theory, and Criticism from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).  His current research focuses on collaborative and collective art practices in the Americas. Bill has written for such journals as Afterall, P.E.A.R., and Log Journal. He currently holds the position of Assistant Professor of Latin American and Latino Art at California State University Bakersfield. Bill has co-edited an anthology with Grant Kester of collaborative art practices in the Americas entitled "Collective Situations: Readings in Contemporary Latin American Art, 1995-2010" (Duke University Press, forthcoming). He is currently lead researcher and curator of Talking to Action for Otis College of Art and Design as part of The Getty's Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative. 


Jennifer Ponce de León | Assistant Professor of Latino/a/x Literature and Culture, University of Pennsylvania

Jennifer Ponce de León is an Assistant Professor of Latino/a/x Literature and Culture in the Department of English at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on intersections between radical left politics and contemporary cultural production in the 20th and 21st centuries. Her writing and teaching engage with literature and the visual arts, Latin American and Latina/o/x studies, and Marxist and anticolonial thought. She is currently completing a book project provisionally entitled "Radical Politics Across the Arts of the Americas: Engagement & Experimentation in the New Millennium," an interdisciplinary and transnational study of politically engaged and extradisciplinary literature, art, and performance produced by artists in Argentina and Chicana/o/x and Mexican artists in the US. It maps a transnational generational formation of left cultural producers whose work critically responds to social transformations brought about through neoliberalization and which bears the imprint, in its politics and aesthetics, of the influence on left social movements. Ponce de León's writing has appeared in the edited collections "Dancing with the Zapatistas," "Live Art in LA," "Art and Activism in the Age of Globalization," and "MEX/LA: Mexican Modernisms in Los Angeles." It has also appeared in journals such as e-misférica, GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, Contemporary Theatre Review, The Journal of American Drama and Theater, and Interreview.


Paulina Varas | Researcher and Independent Curator, Creative Campus of the Universidad Andrés Bello

Paulina Varas is a researcher and an academic at the Creative Campus of the Universidad Andrés Bello. She received her Bachelor of Arts from the Universidad de Playa Ancha and holds a Ph.D. in Art History and Theory from the Universidad de Barcelona. She is a member of CRAC Valparaíso, a collaborative non-profit research platform that works in the city of Valparaíso. With artist residencies, research action, and critical pedagogies and radical architecture, CRAC proposes a critical entanglement with the public sphere, the city, and the territory as a network of connections and associations of social experiments. Since 2007, she has been a member of the Red Conceptualismos del Sur where she has participated in a number of publications, public presentations, support operations, and working groups in Chile, Spain, Argentina, and Peru, among others. 


Varas has authored or co-authored the following books: "Muntadas en Latinoamérica" (Caldas, 2009) and "Guillermo Deisler: Archivo, textos e imágenes en acción" (Santiago de Chile, 2013), among others. Varas notably has curated or co-curated many projects including Subversive Practices: Art under conditions of political repression, 60s-80s / South America / Europe, (Stuttgart, 2009); VÄLPARAÍSO: INterVENCIONES, (Valparaíso, 2010); Una acción hecha por otro es una obra de la Luz Donoso (Santiago, 2011); Artist for Democracy: El archivo de Cecilia Vicuña (Santiago, 2014); and Poner el cuerpo. Llamamientos de arte y política en los años ochenta en América Latina (Santiago, 2016). She has participated in archive reactivation projects, including CADA (Colectivo Acciones De Arte), Guillermo Deisler, and Luz Donoso.