In conjunction with the exhibition Wild Noise, The Bronx Museum of the Arts organized a one-day symposium in Havana to deepen the Cuban community’s understanding of visual arts in the United States and further build cross-cultural dialogue between the two countries. Titled Wild Noise: Art in Times of Change, the symposium featured three presentations by U.S. scholars and curators exploring important historic movements that influenced art made in the U.S.—with a particular focus on the 1970s.
Location: El Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Hemicilio Universal Art Building
San Rafael Street between Zulueta and Monserrate, Old Havana, Havana, Cuba
The symposium was one of several public and educational programs the Bronx Museum launched in conjunction with Wild Noise: Artwork from The Bronx Museum of the Arts and El Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes—the first visual arts exchange between the U.S. and Cuba in 50 years. Wild Noise launched in Havana on May 22 with the opening of a major exhibition of over 90 works from the Bronx Museum’s permanent collection at El Museo de Bellas Artes. A full press release on the initiative can be found here.
Discussions during the day-long symposium included:
• Art-Making As Community: Robert Blackburn and the Printmaking Workshop / Crear Arte como Comunidad: Robert Blackburn y el Printmaking Workshop
Deborah Cullen, a noted scholar of Robert Blackburn working at Columbia University, discusses the evolution of the graphic artist whose work Native Tongue is currently on view in the Wild Noise exhibition in Havana. Cullen will discuss Blackburn’s reflection on traditional education and the transmission of knowledge, as well as his work with other noted American artists including Jasper Johns, Helen Frankenthaler, Grace Hartigan,, Robert Rauschenberg, and Larry Rivers.
• Art and the Banal: The Pop Era / El Arte y lo Banal: La Era Pop
Claudia Calirman—a curator and professor at John Jay College, CUNY specializing in Latin American, modern, and contemporary art—explores the contested field of American Pop art and its association with consumer society and a new drive towards cosmopolitanism and internationalization. Calirman will use works by Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg to demonstrate some of the pivotal responses to the movement from across the globe.
• The Impact of Feminist Theory on Contemporary Art / El Impacto de la Teoría Feminista en el Arte Contemoráneo
Playwright, arts writer, and curator Carey Lovelace addresses the emergence of the Feminist Movement in the United States throughout the 1960s and explores how the fight for gender equality directly impacted contemporary art by challenging traditional representations of women by male artists, as well as the exclusion of female artists in the art historical canon. Discussion will focus on art collectives such as The Guerrilla Girls as well as individual artists, Mierle Lederman Ukeles, Martha Rosler, and Ana Mendieta—whose work is represented in the Wild Noise exhibition in Havana.
ABOUT THE PRESENTERS
Deborah Cullen is an American art curator with a specialization in Latin American and Caribbean art. Since 2013, she has been the director and chief curator of the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University. Prior to that, Cullen served as director of curatorial programs at El Museo del Barrio, New York, from 1997 to 2013. She earned her Ph.D. in 2002 from the City University of New York Graduate Center with a dissertation on master printmaker Robert Blackburn, and was curator of the print collection at Blackburn's New York-based Printmaking Workshop from 1993 to 1996, arranging for some 2500 of its holdings to be acquired by the Library of Congress.
Claudia Calirman is an assistant professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, in the Department of Art and Music and at the Macaulay Honors Program. Her areas of study are Latin American, modern, and contemporary art. She has curated exhibitions in New York, is a lecturer at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the recent author of Brazilian Art Under Dictatorship: Antonio Manuel, Artur Barrio, and Cildo Meireles, Duke University Press 2012.
Carey Lovelace is a playwright, arts writer, and curator. Lovelace was co-commissioner with The Bronx Museum of the Arts of the U.S. Pavilion of the 2013 Venice Biennale and has co-organized seminars, conferences, colloquia, and festivals for The Bronx Museum of the Arts, PS1-MoMA, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the New York Public Library, the Parrish Museum, the Guggenheim Museum, and New York University.
The symposium Wild Noise: Art in Times of Change is made possible through support from the Terra Foundation for American Art, Blake Grossman, and Michelle Richards. Special thanks to Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes.
Wild Noise is supported by the Ford Foundation and the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, with additional funding from Bespoke Travel, Blake Grossman & Michelle Richards, Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center, Charina Endowment Fund, The Evelyn Toll Family Foundation, Fundación Amistad, Laura Blanco and Robert F. Shainheit, The Liman Foundation, May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation, RLA Conservation of Art & Architecture, the Terra Foundation for American Art, and Toby Devan Lewis. Special thanks to Lindsey Frank, Esq. of Rabinowitz, Boudin, Standard, Krinsky & Lieberman, P.C.