Carissa Melillo in The Visual Opinion


VCS student Carissa Melillo has a short poem in Conflict, the latest issue of the student-run magazine The Visual Opinion. Here are a couple shots of Cari’s contribution:




More information about The Visual Opinion and images from past issues can be found on the magazine’s Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter pages.

Video of “Sadequain: A Talk by Saiyid Ali Naqvi” now available online


A video of last week’s lecture “Sadequain: A Talk by Saiyid Ali Naqvi” is now available online on YouTube and iTunes U. You can view it by clicking on the preceding links or either of the screenshots below.

Saiyid Ali Naqvi
VCS Department Chair Tom Huhn and Saiyid Ali Naqvi during last Monday’s talk.
Meditation 1956
One of the slides from the lecture.

This Saturday, April 11th at The New School: Assuming Boycott: Resistance, Agency, and Cultural Production

Tomorrow (Saturday, April 11th), VCS faculty member Kareem Estefan will take part in Assuming Boycott: Resistance, Agency, and Cultural Production, a colloquium hosted by The New School’s Vera list Center for Art and Politics:

Vera List Center

Ahmet Ögüt, Pleasure Places of All Kinds; Fikirtepe Quarter, 2014. Sculpture, mixed media, 60 x 60 x 28 inches, private collection, Amsterdam. Photo courtesy the artist.
Ahmet Ögüt, Pleasure Places of All Kinds; Fikirtepe Quarter, 2014. Sculpture, mixed media, 60 x 60 x 28 inches, private collection, Amsterdam. Photo courtesy the artist.

Boycott as a political and cultural strategy has rarely been more prominent than in our current moment. From art institutions and universities, to cities and entire countries, many have been affected by positions that pose as “withdrawal” or “disengagement” and in fact often result in various actions and pointed engagement around a specific issue or question.

This colloquium concludes a year-long cycle of seminars and programs on cultural and academic boycotts as special conditions for discourse and art making, organized by the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School starting in spring 2014. The seminars addressed timely questions of the agency of artists in the social and political sphere, and how culture can enact and perform change within a politics of disengagement.

Building on the themes and examples discussed in these seminars, Assuming Boycott: Resistance, Agency, and Cultural Production brings new voices to join previous speakers in articulating a way forward for future boycott movements. Conceived as a concluding strategy session, the afternoon is divided into open discussion sections with all colloquium participants around three topics, introduced by short prompts by the invited speakers, among them Joslyn Barnes, Noura Erakat, Pato Hebert, Maria Lind, Ahmet Öğüt, Omar Jabary Salamanca, Dread Scott, Radhika Subramaniam, and Chen Tamir.

Examples abound of contemporary artists holding institutions, exhibitions, and projects accountable for their practices. Via labor issues in the United Arab Emirates, funding structures of the biennials in Sidney or São Paulo, participation in the 2014 Manifesta in Saint Petersburg, and calls to renew a cultural boycott of Israel – artists are leveraging their power to shift the ways culture is produced on individual, civic, institutional, and educational levels. In anticipation of a forthcoming publication, Assuming Boycott focuses on key texts developed during specific campaigns and the shifts in language and implementation of their principles, over time, to reflect changing contexts. Above all, the colloquium seeks to explore how strategies, alliances, lead actors, and guidelines have responded and adapted to a changing cultural, political, and economic environment.

Kareem will moderate the following panel discussion during the 3 to 5 pm session:

Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Against Israel
Initiated by members of Palestinian civil society in 2005, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement that was reignited in recent years has gained newfound traction in the face of unrelenting Israeli oppression. Throughout the life of this decade-long movement, targets and strategies for disengagement have been hotly contested and frequently debated. The BDS movement remains sharply polarizing, underscoring its potential as a rallying point in Palestine/Israel relations, yet frequently obscuring the variety of nuanced positions on this movement. The BDS statement is being compared to initiatives opposing a boycott, and is examined in the context of a layered and complex matrix of resistance efforts.

Noura Erakat
Omar Jabary Salamanca
Chen Tamir
And colloquium participants, moderated by Kareem Estefan

For a full schedule of the day’s events, visit the colloquium’s page on the Vera List Center website.

Assuming Boycott: Resistance, Agency, and Cultural Production will take place at The New School this Saturday, April 11th from 1 to 5 pm in the Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Building, Wollman Hall, 66 West 12th Street, 5nd floor in New York City. Admission is free; RSVP is requested at

This Thursday, April 9th at 7 pm: “Body2Body,” an exhibition and launch party for the new artist-run space Global Committee

VCS student Rachel Zaretsky recently sent me the following message about Global Committee, a new artist-run space that’s launching later this week:

Julia Santoli and I are helping out with the launch of artist run space of artist Laura Cooper, who I met while working for Liz Magic Laser. I would hope to spread the word and increase the attendance of VCS students!

It is happening April 9th, 7-9pm at
Garis and Hahn gallery
263 Bowery, New York, NY

In her message, Rachel also said she’d love to hear from any other VCS students who would be interested in helping out with the event. If you’d like to lend a hand, you can reach her by e-mail at

Here’s more about Thursday’s event from the Global Committee website:


Barbara Hammer / Laure Prouvost / Shana Moulton / Molly Lowe / Andrew Norman Wilson / Ann Hirsch / Jenna Bliss / Juliana Cerqueira Leite / Jeremy Hutchison / Stephen Kwok / Laura Cooper & Ian Giles

‘Body2Body’ is the Off-site launch event for Global Committee; an evening featuring the New York premieres of new work by Laure Prouvost and Barbara Hammer.

Global Committee is proud to present installations, performances and video works by some of today’s most compelling international artists, at Garis & Hahn gallery; 263 Bowery, New York, NY 10002. Global Committee is a new artist-run project space, that will exhibit and connect international and national artists through a series of exhibitions and events.

What is the purpose of our bodies in the age of digital intimacy? How can we even ask a question that infers that the body may no longer be the primary vehicle through which we experience the world?

Global Committee is delighted to be presenting a new video by the Turner Prize-winning artist Laure Prouvost entitled ‘We Know We Are Just Pixels’ in which flickering images form a conversation amongst themselves. Discussing their existence and vulnerabilities, in relation to the viewer looking at them, the images want to be more than just pixels; they want to explore and exist outside of the machine upon which they are being played.

At 8pm Legendary filmmaker and artist Barbara Hammer will present new a performance entitled ‘Available Space’ where she explores the relationship of architectural space to image and the limits of the projector’s beam.

Live performances by Jeremy Hutchison, Stephen Kwok and Laura Cooper & Ian Giles engage with the body through mediated experiences, broken signals and collaboration. These works will be happening periodically throughout the evening – set your body clock and you won’t miss a thing!

Throughout the night enjoy a curated selection of recent video works by Shana Moulton, Molly Lowe, Andrew Norman Wilson, Ann Hirsch, Juliana Cerqueira Leite and Jenna Bliss. These works’ engage with how the body can be displayed and transported through film and video – flesh-like textures, whispering voices and pulsing images reach out and touch our eyes and ears, reminding us that we are still physically present even in this digital age of distant touch.

So slip into something sleek and place your body in our hands for the night  – Let’s get body to body.


Laure Prouvost’s video is shown in association LUX

Tonight (Friday, April 3): Monika Bravo in conversation with Carla Stellweg at Y Gallery

y gallery facebook

Tonight at 7 pm, Y Gallery New York will host a conversation between artist Monika Bravo and Carla Stellweg (who also presented a VCS-sponsored talk with artist-curator Pablo León de la Barra last September). Tonight’s talk is the closing event for artist Bravo’s solo exhibition Landscape of Belief.

The following information about Stellweg, Bravo, and Landscape of Belief is quoted from Y Gallery’s press announcement for tonight’s event; for additional information, see the Facebook pages for the exhibition and tonight’s closing event.


Y Gallery logo

MONIKA BRAVO in conversation with CARLA STELLWEG

Closing event for the exhibition LANDSCAPE OF BELIEF by Monika Bravo.

FRIDAY, April 3rd, 7 pm 

Carla Stellweg is a Latin-Americanist who has worked as a museum and non-profit director, writer and editor, curator and professor. Ms. Stellweg is considered a pioneer promoter and facilitator in the Latin American international contemporary art field. She was and continues to be instrumental in introducing many young and mid-career artists from Latin America, Latino-U.S., Cuba and the Caribbean producing conceptual, socially-engaged art in both new and traditional media, either working in NY or from around the world. She was the founder and editor of the first bilingual quarterly avant-garde Contemporary Art Journal in Mexico, Artes Visuales. Ever since her move to New York in 1982, Stellweg established herself as a prime point of contact for all related to Latin American art. She is currently a professor in the Department of Visual Critical Studies and Art History at the School of Visual Arts, NY and she also acts as occasional visiting professor for the Estudios de Posgrado of the UNAM (Nat’l Autonomous University Mexico City – Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas & Facultad de Filosofía y Letras) as well as a lecturer at the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico.

Monika Bravo is a multi-disciplinary artist born in Bogotá, Colombia.  In 1994, she relocated to New York to pursue a career in the Arts. Invited to participate in the 56th Venice Biennale, she will be representing the Vatican City-State, at the Pavilion of the Holy See. In 2015, she will be showing “URUMU” at the Centro Conde Duque in Madrid, Spain. Her work has been shown at Sternesen Museum, Oslo; Museo de Arte, Banco de la Republica, Bogota, Colombia; Borusan Contemporary, Istanbul; Seoul International Biennial of New Media Art; SITE Santa Fe; Centro de Arte Contemporaneo Caja CAB de Burgos, Spain; El Museo del Barrio and New Museum in New York. Her videos have been screened at the MOMA, Anthology Film Archives, Brooklyn Museum, New Museum, the Kitchen, Museo di Arte Contemporaneo di Roma, the New York Video Festival at the Lincoln Center and the Americas Society, LA MOCA, Tate Britain, and Museo Reina Sofia.

March 6th – April 4th 2015
Opening Reception: FRIDAY, March 6th from 6pm to 9pm

We are pleased to present Landscape of Belief, the first solo exhibition of Monika Bravo at Y Gallery. Landscape of Belief is a series of five installation works that call into question how we construct our lives according to our belief systems. The viewer experiences each sculpture as animations composed of text projected and floating diaphanously in glass panels. These texts that generate skylines of real and imaginary landscapes were culled from descriptions of illusory cities and from conversations between Marco Polo and Kublai Khan in Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities. In Landscape of Belief, Bravo creates a parallel between literature and architecture, as they both define, translate, and shape physical and mind structures.

By carefully overlapping surfaces, a rich non-material space of emptiness is achieved throughout the time-based composition.  As a whole, the installation presents nothingness as an object, thus allowing for the space of the metaphysical to challenge the viewer. As the viewers are immersed in the projection, they are given the opportunity to experience the prospect of awareness, of the power of their belief systems and how they define the landscape of their lives. The installation took three years to make and addresses two important issues in the trajectory of Bravo’s work, such as the shifting definition of the medium and the physical manifestation of the piece. Bravo employs a variety of mediums such as archival pigment on cotton rag and film, glass, and aluminum. The process began with finding the images in Google and then recomposing each city’s skyline by meticulously outlining and tracing their architectural components with Calvino’s text. No documentation will ever be able to transmit the feeling of the texts floating on the surface of the materials, or the possibility of viewing the sculpture from both sides. What is imperative for Landscape of Belief is the necessity for it to be experienced.

Y Gallery
165 Orchard Street
New York, NY 10002 / 415 636 0760