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Deborah Castillo: Radical Disobedience

Thursday, September 26, 2019 6:00 - 8:00 pm

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To celebrate the publication of the new HemiPress book Deborah Castillo: Radical Disobedience, the Hemispheric Institute invites you to a special event that will include a panel discussion with the artist, editors, and contributors to the volume, and the performance Theoretical Fetishes by the artist. Deborah Castillo: Radical Disobedience, edited by Irina Troconis and Alejandro Castro, brings together six critical texts on the work of Venezuelan performance artist Deborah Castillo that reflect on both the performance of power and the power of performance as an act of radical disobedience. The panel discussion will feature Irina Troconis, Alejandro Castro, Rebeca Pineda Burgos, and Diana Taylor, and Marcial Godoy-Anativia as moderator. 

Deborah Castillo: Radical Disobedience

This edited volume compiles for the first time six critical perspectives on the work of Venezuelan performance artist Deborah Castillo. Drawing from the fields of history, philosophy, cultural studies, political theory, and performance theory, the contributors explore the different forms of radical disobedience that materialize as Castillo engages with questions of power, authority, the body, and the State, against the background of Venezuela’s current crisis and the failures of the Bolivarian Revolution. Taken as a whole, this volume not only illuminates the different operations at play in the work of one of Venezuela’s most prominent performance artists, but it also gives insight into the dynamics of political authority as it emerges amidst a global scenario dominated by populisms, polarization, and new forms of social oppression and subjugation.

Theoretical Fetiches 2019 (Performance)

In this performance, the artist addresses the subtle ways in which the control over bodies—individual and collective—is exerted through the mobilization of discourse and the fetishization of certain types of knowledge. Through a sensual engagement with a collection of books that critically approach the topic of performance—an engagement that includes turning and licking the pages and underlining with her tongue every word and every sentence—Castillo underscore the power embedded in orality, and the possibilities of resistance that open up when we consider that which manages to linger and survive beyond the duration of the moment.

About HemiPress

HemiPress is the Hemispheric Institute’s digital publication imprint, created to house and centralize our diverse publication initiatives. Using a variety of customized open-source digital humanities platforms, HemiPress includes the Gesture short works series—which includes the Duke U.P./HemiPress co-publications––stand-alone essays, and the Institute’s peer-reviewed journal emisférica, alongside interviews, Cuadernos, ArtWorks, Course Dossiers, and other online teaching resources. It also provides state-of-the-art multilingual publication capacities as well as immersive formats for capturing the “live” of performance and connecting communities of readers across the Americas.

Hemispheric Institute
20 Cooper Square, fifth floor
New York, NY 10003

Deborah Castillo is a Venezuela-born, Brooklyn based multidisciplinary artist. She holds an MFA and BFA from Armando Reverón Higher Education School of Fine Arts Caracas, Venezuela. Deborah has been granted numerous awards and residencies including NYFA Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program, (2015), NYC, The Banff Center. Artist in Residence Program in Visual Arts (2015) Canada, Atlantic Center for the Arts (2014), Florida and London Print Studio, (2007) UK as well as “Premio Armando Reveron”; AVAP in the “Young Artist Category” (2013), “XI Salón Eugenio Mendoza” Award, Sala Mendoza, (2003); VI Salón CANTV, Jóvenes con FIA” Award, (2003) Caracas, Venezuela and more. Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Arts and Design, NYC. New Museum, NYC, USA. Rufino Tamayo Museum, Mexico City, MX. Carrillo Gil  Museum, Mexico City,  MX.Escuela de Bellas Artes, Bolivian Biennial SIART, Bolivia. UCLA, Los Angeles, USA. ICA, London, UK. Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France.The Broad Museum, Los Angeles, USA. Smack Mellon, NYC, USA. Hemispheric Institute, NYC, USA, and among others. 

Irina Troconis is an Assistant Professor of Latin American Studies in the Romance Studies Department at Cornell University. Her research focuses on the politics and practices of memory in contemporary Latin America, the relationship between performance and populism, and the field of digital humanities. She is currently working on her book manuscript, titled "Spectral Remains: Memory, Magic and the State in the Afterglow of Hugo Chávez's Bolivarian Revolution."

Alejandro Castro (Caracas, 1986) is currently a Ph.D. Candidate at New York University. He received a B.A. in Arts from the Universidad Central de Venezuela and an M.A. in Latin American Literature from Universidad Simón Bolivar. In Venezuela, he was a university lecturer in aesthetics, literature, and psychology at the Escuela de Artes of the Universidad Central de Venezuela, and later he taught literary theory at the Escuela de Letras of the same university. He has published two books of poems: No es por vicio ni por fornicio: Uranismo y otras parafilias, which won the 2010 prize of the Monte Avila Publishing House for unpublished authors, and El lejano oeste, which was awarded the prize for the book of the year 2014 from the Venezuelan Bookstore Association.

Rebeca Pineda Burgos is a Candidate in the Ph.D. program in Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Cultures at The Graduate Center, CUNY, New York. Her research focuses on contemporary Venezuelan cultural objects as novels, film and visual arts and their interpretation of chavismo and sociopolitical Venezuelan reality.

Diana Taylor is a University Professor and Professor of Performance Studies and Spanish at New York University. She is the award-winning author of multiple books, among them: Theatre of Crisis (1991), Disappearing Acts (1997), The Archive and the Repertoire (2003), and Performance (2016). Her new book, ¡Presente! The Politics of Presence is forthcoming with Duke University Press. Taylor is the director of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics which she helped found in 1998. In 2017, Taylor was President of the Modern Language Association and was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2018 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Science.

Marcial Godoy-Anativia is a sociocultural anthropologist and Managing Director of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics at New York University (NYU). He is also Editor of the Institute’s digital journal, emisférica.

The event is free and open to the public. A photo ID is required to enter NYU buildings and 20 Cooper Square is a wheelchair accessible venue.