The Place of Categories
Screening of two films + talk by María Iñigo Clavo
Les statues meurent aussi, Alain Resnais and Chris Marker (1953)
Un-document. Undoing Imperial Plunder, Ariella Aïsha Azoulay (2019)
In the film Les statues meurent aussi (Statues Also Die), Resnais and Marker wonder why some works (African art or black art, as these works were called) are in the Musée de l’Homme, the anthropology museum, while others such as the works of Greek and Roman classical art are in the Musée du Louvre, the art museum. Each museum places them within a different context and genealogy: the history of Western art or the history of humanity and consequently of otherness. The museum: the place of categories. We sense that the effects and consequences of death are different in one museum and the other.
In Un-documented. Unlearning Imperial Plunder (2019), Ariella Azoulay uses the work of Resnais and Marker as a starting point to position it within the present context and present a critique in which she defends that these looted objects, sculptures or statues in imperial exhibitions do not in fact die. Un-documented argues that there is a strong connection between looted objects in European museums and the demands of asylum seekers trying to enter the countries of their former European settlers. The rights of the undocumented are recorded in the looted objects themselves: the settlers stole not only statues, but rights recorded in objects. These statues are nonetheless still alive and can be recovered and the rights recorded on them can be renewed.
María Iñigo Clavo is a researcher, curator and teacher. Her research interests are coloniality, curatorship and museology, modernity and its inventions of otherness, untranslatability and art in Latin America. Her talk proposes a dialogue exchange reading with the Guatemalan artist Benvenuto Chavajay Ixtetelá to think beyond polarisation and essentialisation and to share positions.
Thanks to: Ariella Aïsha Azoulay, Carles Guerra, Fundació Tàpies.
Wednesday 3 February 2021, at 7 pm
Auditori Meier. MACBA
Prior registration is required at firstname.lastname@example.org