Lecturer Contemporary Art History and Theory
I am a Chilean/Australian art historian and writer. My research predominantly focuses on queer and migratory archives and epistemologies. I also adopt/engage practices of institutional critique, Marxist-feminism and post- and de-colonial theory and increasingly, memoir and autofiction/theory.
I am completed my PhD (art history) at the University of Melbourne in 2013. My PhD was the basis of my first book, Counter-Memorial Aesthetics: Refugee Histories and the Politics of Contemporary Art (Radical Aesthetics Radical Art series, Bloomsbury Philosophy, 2016). The book takes as its historical focus the protracted ‘global refugee crisis' from the 1990s to the present, across Australia, North/Latin America and the UK. It analyses how, within contexts marked by intensified border politics, contemporary artists have been grappling with how to represent, archive or abstract contested histories of migration. I develop the concept of counter-memorial aesthetics to articulate how artists’ engagements with contemporary historical experiences of border restrictions and border crossings contest fixed identity and origin points, pushing our sense of what memory can do to catalyse new forms of ‘becoming’.
In my current scholarship I have been extending my thinking on the politics of memory/counter-memory by working with the archive of queer/Chilean artist Juan Dávila, especially from the 1980s, to critique the enduring colonial and heteronormative logics of Australian art history.
My work on the politics of memory, and writing practice more broadly, is also shaped by institutional critique. I am currently working on an ARC Linkage project focussed on how collections and archives can catalyse epistemological experiments and equity (or, structural change) within art institutions - with the Murray Art Museum Albury. Recent writings on institutional critique appear in Third Text and Memory Studies.