Home Historical art UNMAM Exhibit Explores Pivotal Activist Campaign Artists Call : UNM Newsroom

UNMAM Exhibit Explores Pivotal Activist Campaign Artists Call : UNM Newsroom


Art for the future: Call for artists and Central American solidarity, the most in-depth exhibition to date exploring the militant campaign of the 1980s, Artists Call Against American Intervention in Central America, will open Tuesday, September 6 at the University of New Mexico Museum of Art. The exhibition will be visible in all the galleries of the UNM art museum until December 3.

Art for the future: Call for artists and Central American solidarity is hosted by Tufts University Art Galleries and curated by Erina Duganne, professor of art history at Texas State University, and Abigail Satinsky, curator and public engagement manager for Tufts University Art Galleries.

The Artists Call campaign, launched in New York in 1984, used public demonstrations, films, art exhibits, mail art, performances, and poetry readings to protest U.S. military interventions in Central America , educate the American public and develop transnational networks for community organizing. , solidarity and exchange. Artists Call was founded on the political organizing of artists and activists such as Daniel Flores y Ascencio, Lucy Lippard, Doug Ashford, Leon Golub and Coosje van Bruggen, and has grown to be supported by over 1,000 artists at New York, and many more. in more than 25 cities across North America.

Installation view, Beatriz Cortez, 2022. Peter Harris Photography.

The art of the future explores the robust history of the campaign and its intersection with art and activism today. The exhibition includes major works by Josely Carvalho, Jimmie Durham, Dona Ann McAdams, Ana Mendieta, Claes Oldenburg, Martha Rosler, Juan Sánchez, Nancy Spero, Zarina and many more. Among the works featured in the campaign are those by Hans Haacke American isolation box, Grenada, 1983which recreates an isolation room used by US troops to hold prisoners at Point Salines Airport after the US invasion of Grenada. Rebuilding Codex (1984) by Sabra Moore and 19 collaborators, including Emma Amos, Camille Billops, Virginia Jaramillo, Nancy Spero and Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, among others, is also included. This work pays homage to the ancient indigenous cultures of Latin America by reconstructing a Mayan codex. The exhibition, moreover, highlights ephemeral materials from the personal archives of organizers Lucy Lippard and Doug Ashford.


Benvenuto Chavajay, Doroteo Guamuche, 2016. Photograph courtesy of the artist.

Along with historical works, the exhibition also features contemporary artists in conversation with Artists Call. These artworks include Carlos Motta’s wall installation from his ongoing series, Brief history of American interventions in Latin America since 1946. by Beatriz Cortez 1984: Space-time capsule breaks down artistic and political trajectories to examine ideas of resilience, solidarity and creative freedom. Naeem Mohaiemen’s film Wooster Street thinks through the community via the connections of Artists Call participants Judy Blum, Krishna Reddy and Zarina. Photographic installation by Benvenuto Chavajay Doroteo Guamuche claims the indigenous identity of the famous Guatemalan long-distance runner Doroteo Guamuche Flores.

“The exhibition is an intergenerational conversation of artists mobilizing their collective voice in protest, action and engagement. We can learn from these efforts to build different futures,” Satinsky said.

All the texts of the exhibition and the catalog for The art of the future is fully bilingual in Spanish and English. The illustrated catalog examines the mobilization of writers, artists, activists and arts organizations for Artists Call and examines the legacy of the campaign today. It presents essays by artists and curators of the exhibition as well as interviews with the organizers of the Call for Artists.

Kency Cornejo, associate professor of art history at UNM, contributes to an essay titled Writing Art Histories from Below: A Decolonial Perspective from Guanaca-Hood. The catalog places Artists Call in a larger visual, historical, and sociopolitical context and fills a gap in the examination of political and aesthetic actions across the Americas, past and present. The catalogs will be available for purchase for the duration of the exhibition.

“We are delighted to host the Tufts University Art Galleries exhibition, The art of the future, which speaks of art, activism and solidarity. Contemporary works by Latinx artists update this historic exhibition in crucial ways. Among the more than 100 artists in the exhibition, we celebrate the contributions of our fellow New Mexicans Lucy Lippard, Sabra Moore and Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, whose lifelong commitment to art and activism continues to inspire,” said curator Mary Statzer. prints and photographs at UNMAM.

The exhibition and catalog have received major support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Institute for Latin American Art Studies (ISLAA).

The UNM Art Museum will be open Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., beginning Tuesday, September 6. Admission is always free.

Top picture: Dona Ann McAdams procession for peace marches with the banner Artists Call Against US Intervention in Central America, New York, 1984. Gelatin silver print. Courtesy of the artist.