The Association for Latin American Art: ALAA Triennial (Mexico City, March 15-17, 2023) Call for Proposals

Encounters with the Archive in Latin American and Latinx Art
ALAA Triennial (Mexico City, March 15-17, 2023)
The Association for Latin American Art, in collaboration with the Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas (UNAM), invites proposals for the 2023 Triennial (Mexico City, March 15-17, 2023) that address any themes related to archives of Latin American and Latinx art. As we enter into the fourth year of a global pandemic and bear witness to catastrophic climate change, the onslaught of police and extrajudicial murders of Black, Indigenous and people of color across the Americas, and ongoing indignities to migrants seeking refuge outside of their ancestral lands, the calls for imagining new ways of living and being in the world are more prescient than ever, as are new and refined strategies for preserving and sharing the history of images in the Western hemisphere. The crises and inequities that define this moment have long been naturalized through the arbitration of images and texts in the way they are kept in repositories, or talked about in academic texts​​. These archives, in their multiple typologies and in their multiplicity of formats, both analog and digital, have come to define how we narrate the past and envision collective possibilities for the future.
In this context of global precarity, we invite proposals that reflect on art from any period of Latin American and Latinx history, particularly as it relates to the archive. As a site of (neo)colonial imposition and decolonial possibility, the archive implies a complex and heterogeneous understanding of art and visual culture and shapes the ways in which they are studied, exhibited, and collected. To consider the materialities, multivocalities and heterogeneities of archives also demands acknowledgement of the silences, gaps, and wholesale erasures of art and its histories from our field of vision. A wave of recent (digital) archival initiatives have helped to shed light on the fraught historical and contemporary brokerage of art historical resources. This archival turn in Latin American art history promises, if not necessitates, new strategies to transform the field by harnessing the potentialities afforded by uncertainty, collaboration, and interdisciplinarity.
To that end, we invite individual and co-authored proposals that consider Latin American and Latinx art historical futures as guided by questions of archival encounters. Potential topics for the proposals may include, but are not limited to, the following themes:
1. Precarity and possibility as a theme in Latin American and Latinx art and as it conditions and is conditioned by archival initiatives.
2. Redefinitions of the archive that encompass ephemeral artistic practices like performance, non-object-based arts, or ritual contexts and social and political functions of pre-Hispanic and colonial objects.
3. The exhibition of archives as an epiphenomenon of curatorial practice and the ways it revises/expands/otherwise constitutes or mediates art historical discourse.
4. The representational value of memory, chronology and its (geo)political weight, as it relates to artistic and/or art historical practices.
5. The fetishization of archival material (the document, the fragment, or the remain) in artistic and/or art historical practices.
6. New relationships between art history and the archive in the wake of the digital turn and the Covid-19 pandemic (crowd-sourcing, de-hierarchization, etc.).
7. Decolonial, feminist, queer, collective, and interdisciplinary approaches to the archive in art history.
8. Archival taxonomies and holdings as interlocutors among artists/makers, museums and cultural institutions, and the State (colonial/national).
Please send a 250-word abstract and a short CV to by September 1, 2022. Proposals can be in English, Spanish, or Portuguese. You are not required to be a member of ALAA to submit a proposal, but accepted participants are required to become ALAA members for 2023.