ALAA Triennial Conference


The World Turned Upside Down:
Arts of Oppression and Resistance in the American Hemisphere

Thursday, March 7th-Saturday, March 9th
Sponsored by DePaul University, the Art Institute of Chicago, and ALAA
With support from the Thoma Foundation and the National Museum of Mexican Art

**Conference is free but all attendees should be current ALAA members (click here to become a new member or to renew membership)**
** Registration is required (walk-ins accommodated where possible; see links below)**

Schedule subject to adjustment

THURSDAY, March 7th: Arrival, Chicago (See list of suggested hotels, below)

Optional Event: 2pm Latin America at the Smart Museum at the University of Chicago, meet in lobby
View selections from the Latin American collections of the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago, including photographs, prints, drawings, and paintings by artists including Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Manuel Carrillo, Graciela Iturbide, Dr. Atl, Matta, Carlos Mérida, Tina Modotti, Roberto Montenegro, José Clemente Orozco, and Luis González Palma. Visitors may also want to check out the Smart’s two exhibitions, Solidary & Solitary: The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection, which presents a history of art by African-American artists, with a particular emphasis on abstraction, from the 1940s to the present moment; and Smart to the Core: Embodying the Self, which draws on objects in the permanent collection to consider how selfhood has been variously constructed and performed by visual artists in the modern era.
Questions? Claudia Brittenham:
**(Register here; limit 25 participants)

Optional Event: 2-5pm Studio Visits with local artists: Edra Soto, Melissa Leandro, Rodrigo Lara Zendejas
Questions? Alison Fraunhar,
**(Register here; limit 8 participants)

5:30-7:00pm: ALAA Welcome & Keynote @ National Museum of Mexican Art
Visit Nuestras Historias: Stories of Mexican Identity from the Permanent Collection
Light refreshments; dinner recommended in Pilsen area after keynote

6pm, Keynote lecture: Social Disequilibria: of Bodies and Borders
Adriana Zavala, Associate Professor in the Department of Art and Art History, and the Consortium of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora at Tufts University

Zavala’s lecture will examine works by artists across the American hemisphere that thematize how bodies and borders have been racialized both in historical perspective and with regards to our contemporary times. Her lecture will explore how racialization as a form of social differentiation and disequilibria cannot be separated from the critical study of geopolitical power, class, gender, sexuality, ability, and religion. As a scholar of both Mexican and U.S. Latinx art and visual culture, Zavala will address the necessity of intersectional scholarship and praxis, and the importance of generosity and care in these troubled times.

Zavala is a long-time member of the Association of Latin American Art and is founding director of the U.S. Latinx Art Form (, a 501c3 that generates and support initiatives that advance the vitality of U.S. Latinx art.


FRIDAY, MARCH 8th: Conference Day 1 @ ART INSTITUTE, Nichols Suite

ENTER Monroe Avenue through private door near Bridge
Advanced registration includes museum entry (a $19 value) this day only
**(Register here)

9-9:20am — Check-in, coffee service
9:20-9:30am — Welcome, Delia Cosentino, DePaul University, Triennial Chair, Local Committee

9:30-11am, Session 1: Three-Dimensional Subversions across Time and Space

Chair: Claudia Brittenham, University of Chicago

Deborah Spivak, In Defiance of Beauty: Loro Ceramics and the Counter-Aesthetic
Leslie Todd, Negotiating Oppression & Resistance through the Refinement of Quito’s 18th-century Sculpture
Manuel Aguilar-Moreno, Ulama: A Mesoamerican Ballgame at Risk of Extinction

11-11:15am — Coffee Break

11:15-12:20pm, Session 2: Mendicant Negotiations in Colonial Spanish America

Chair: Ellen T. Baird, Emerita, University of Illinois, Chicago

Annika Benavides, The Missionary Mining of the Andes: Job 28 and the Augustinian Creole Agenda
Emmanuel Ortega, 18th Century Novohispanic Martyrs Portraits: Testimonies of Native Resistance in Franciscan Visual Archives

12:20-2:00pm — Lunch Break

2:00-3:30pm, Session 3: American Geographies of Race and Resistance

Chair: Emmanuel Ortega, University of Illinois, Chicago

Natalia Vargas Márquez, Natural Depictions in Seventeenth-Century Cuzco: Imperial Landscape and Epistemic Tension
Katharine Manthorne, Plantation Pictures: Sugar, Race & Resistance across the Americas

3:30pm: AIC’s Zoe Ryan Sneak Peek at upcoming exhibition Modernists in Mexico at Midcentury

3:45-4:45pm: AIC’s Elizabeth Pope & Erica Warren Tour of Super/Natural: Textiles of the Andes

**(Register here: limit 30 participants)

5:30-7:30pm: ALAA Reception Orange Door Chicago (Marilyn and Carl Thoma Gallery)

Bus departs AIC at 5pm from Monroe Entrance

Welcome & Acknowledgments:
Michele Greet, ALAA President, Associate Professor, George Mason University
Rosario Granados, Carl & Marilynn Thoma Associate Curator of Spanish Colonial Art, Blanton Museum of Art
**(Register here; limit 50 participants)


SATURDAY, MARCH 9th: Conference Day 2 @ DePaul Center, Room 8005

1 East Jackson Blvd (at the Corner of State), Elevators to 8th Floor
**(Register here, participants who registered for Day 1 do not need to register again)

9-9:30pm — Coffee Service

9:30-11am, Session 1: Photographic Lexicons

Chair: Michael Schreffler, Notre Dame

María Beatriz H. Carrión, Camelids in the Chilean Desert: Orientalizing Patagonia and Concealing the Genocide
Erin Madarieta, Sentimentality or Reality? The Politics of Photography in La Sierra and Amauta
Stacie Widdifield, The Iconography of Mexico City’s Water Crisis: Women/Children/Potability/Plentitude

11-11:15am — Coffee Break

11:15-12:45pm, Session 2: Defiance in Contemporary South American Art

Chair: Megan Sullivan, University of Chicago

Ionit Behar, Handheld Minimalist Objects: Intimate Space in Margarita Paksa’s “Relaxing Egg,” 1967
Brian Bentley, Objects of Underdevelopment: Pop Culture as Popular Resistance in Rubens Gerchman’s 1960s Rio de Janeiro
Ana Franco, Informalist Painting in Colombia: A Language of Negation and Resistance

12:45-2pm — Lunch Break

2-3:30pm, Session 3: Resistance in Contemporary Mexican Art

Chair: Alison Fraunhar, St. Xavier University

Dorota Biczel, Autoconstrucción: Reimagining the limits of the public in experimental artistic practices in “urbanization without industrialization”
Mya Dosch, Opacity against Oppression: Grupo Germinal, Proceso Pentágono and Mexican Protest Art
Jodi Kovach, Recreating Mexico City’s Art Scene after NAFTA


The Palmer House, 17 East Monroe Street
Club Quarters, 111 West Adams Street
Silversmith Hotel Chicago Downtown, 10 S Wabash Ave
Hampton Inn Majestic, 22 W Monroe

Local Committee:

Delia Cosentino, DePaul University; Claudia Brittenham, University of Chicago; Megan Sullivan, University of Chicago; Alison Frauhnar, St. Xavier University; Virginia Miller, University of Illinois, Bebe Baird, University of Illinois, Chicago; Andrew Finegold, University of Illinois; Emmanuel Ortega, University of Illinois; Michael Schreffler, Notre Dame