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Exhibitions & Events

RESIDENCY: Alejandro Jaime

                            Image of artist Alejandro Jaime2 January - 26 February 2019

This residency brings into dialogue two apparently unrelated landscapes of extraction — Peru and Essex — through the production of a new body of work by Lima-based artist Alejandro Jaime that will respond to the geology and extractive industries located around the River Colne, which runs alongside the University of Essex’s Colchester campus.  Jaime’s practice hinges on landscape forms and mining industries, making him a natural fit to respond to the living history of extraction that has long shaped the River Colne area. Using painting, photography, land art and sculpture, the artist constantly interrogates natural and human impacts on the environment, working across an expansive timeframe that tracks spatial shifts through geological strata, pre-Columbian civilizations, industrialisation and ecological decline.  An artist whose practice is rooted in direct experience of landscapes through journeys and walking, Jaime will develop his work through a combination of site visits, research and studio practice in Essex.  In collaboration with Dr Lisa Blackmore from the School of Philosophy and Art History, this project invests in the speculative potential of art-making to generate fictions and documents that connect diverse communities through shared processes of geological, industrial and environmental changes that shape landscapes worldwide.  Following on from the exhibition Gone to Ground, the outcome of this residency will be presented in collaboration with the University of Essex Collection of Art from Latin America (ESCALA) as a solo exhibition here at Art Exchange.

Alejandro Jaime: Aggregate Flows

                            22 February - 23 March 2019

Aggregate Flows showcases a new body of work by Peruvian artist Alejandro Jaime that examines the geology and extractive industries located around the River Colne, which runs alongside the University of Essex’s Colchester campus. The River Colne is a longstanding recipient and instigator of dramatic landscape changes, from the glacial drift deposited half a million years ago, to the sand and gravel extracted for construction since the early twentieth century. Physical traces of these interconnected processes endure in the landscape and through this exhibition Jaime explores the remnants of deep geological time. Using painting, photography, land art and sculpture, he interrogates natural and human impacts on the environment, working across an expansive time frame that tracks spatial shifts through geological strata, industrialisation and ecological decline. In collaboration with Dr Lisa Blackmore from the School of Philosophy and Art History, this exhibition is the outcome of Alejandro Jaime’s residency at the University of Essex and is presented in collaboration with the University of Essex Collection of Art from Latin America (ESCALA).

Gone to Ground: Mapping Terrains

           Mónica Bengoa 'Recursos humanos: Se hace querer' 1996            15 January - 1 March 2019

Gone to Ground’s satellite exhibition Mapping Terrains pivots around a critical revision of cartography, providing historical context to the routes and circuits implicit in many of the artworks in Gone to Ground. This show further unpacks issues of colonialism, extraction and commodity routes, placing Latin America and art from the region in the matrix of world ecology. Curated by the BA Curatorial Studies student, Beatriz Neviana Coslovsky, in collaboration with Dr Sarah Demelo, Curator of the University Art Collection and the Essex Collection of art from Latin America (ESCALA), Mapping Terrains creates new and exciting dialogues between ESCALA and the Albert Sloman Library’s Special Collections.

Image: Mónica Bengoa Recursos humanos: Se hace querer (1996) ESCALA 17-1997

Gone to Ground

Regina José Galindo ‘Raices’ (video still) 2015                            15 January - 16 February 2019

The University of Essex celebrates the 25th anniversary of the founding of its collection of art from Latin America (ESCALA) through exhibitions, an artist’s residency and an internationally significant symposium at Art Exchange. 

This ambitious programme is curated by Dr Lisa Blackmore, lecturer in Art History from the School of Philosophy and Art History, working with ESCALA’s founding co-directors Professor Dawn Ades and Professor Valerie Fraser, and Essex’s newly appointed curator, Dr Sarah Demelo. 

Gone to Ground 

The earth beneath our feet is anything but dormant, inert matter. Host to a vibrant tangle of the vegetable, bacterial and animal beings, it is literally the grounds for human and non-human life. Yet today we are confronted by the catastrophic impacts of five centuries of extractive industries considered to have birthed the Anthropocene—an era of unprecedented geological change generated by humans. 

This exhibition seeks to open our senses to the earth’s pulsing presence through artworks from Latin America. Addressing indigenous cosmologies, colonial histories of botanical and mineral extraction, and contact zones between human and non-human bodies, these works revisit the historical grounds on which human life has unfolded to pose questions about the conditions for our collective futures. The exhibition includes works by artists from Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Argentina, including Alberto Baraya, Mónica Bengoa, Fernando Cruz, Regina José Galindo, Graciela Iturbide, Alejandro Jaime, Sonia Labouriau, Teresa Pereda, Nancy La Rosa, Cynthia Soto, and Warmi. 

Accompanying Gone to Ground is a catalogue written by students from our BA in Art History and a related exhibition, ‘Gone to Ground: Mapping Terrains’ in the Albert Sloman Library is curated by 3rd year Curatorial Studies student Bia Neviani Coslovsky. 

Our 25th anniversary programme has been made possible through the support of the Elephant Trust and the Society for Latin American Studies.

Image: Regina José Galindo Raices (video still) 2015 

Gone to Ground: Lunchtime Talks

Join us for a series of lunchtime talks with academics from the University of Essex whose research amplifies on themes raised in Gone to Ground exhibition at 1 -1:45pm between 22 January and 14 February. Nicholas Beuret, James Canton, Sarah Demelo, Carlos Gigoux, Jane Hindley and Colin Sampson open up new and exciting connections between the artworks on display and their own specialist areas of study.

SYMPOSIUM: Arts of Extraction

                            31 January - 1 February 2019

Our speakers will explore extraction in an expanded sense, approaching the phenomenon as both the physical process of removing botanical and mineral resources from the ground, and as the aesthetic strategy of recording images of nature and circulating them in global visual economies. Confronting Latin America’s longstanding conception as a treasury of natural resources, the symposium seeks to generate discussions about the role visual technologies have played in the longstanding prospecting of nature in Latin America and the ways that contemporary artworks make visible the historical legacies and contemporary impacts of extractive industries, their related sociopolitical contexts and ecological conflicts.

Speakers include:

  • Ana Bilbao (Research Fellow and Editor of Afterall, Central St Martins)
  • Natalia Majluf (Simón Bolívar Visiting Chair for 2018-19; former Director Museo de Arte de Lima)
  • Rebecca Jarman (Lecturer in Latin American Cultural Studies, University of Leeds)
  • Louise Purbrick (Principal Lecturer, Centre for Design History)
  • Nancy La Rosa (Artist and Lecturer in Fine Art, Faculty of Art and Design, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Peru)
  • Alejandro Jaime (Lecturer in Painting, Faculty of Art and Design, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Peru)

This symposium has been made possible by the kind support of the Society of Latin American Studies

ARTIST'S TALK: Alejandro Jaime

                            Taking as his point of departure his artworks displayed in Gone to Ground exhibition, Alejandro will discuss his recent projects ‘Extraction: Landscapes of Void (2014)’ and ‘Expanded Landscape/Contained Landscape’ (2016) with curator and academic Dr Lisa Blackmore. By tracing shifts in landscapes from the pre-Hispanic era right up to the present, Jaime will expand on his artworks against the backdrop of the political, cultural and economic structures that have shaped extractive landscapes in Peru, Bolivia and Chile.

5 February 2019

6 -7.30pm including a Q&A, followed by a drinks reception in Art Exchange.

Admission free