ULISES CARRIÓN: POST/MASTER
For Immediate Release
Assistant / University Galleries
Gainesville, Fla. —
On View: Curatorial Studies
Ulises Carrión: Post/Master
A Selection from the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA) Collection
Gary R. Libby Gallery
University Galleries at University of Florida
October 16—December 4, 2020
Curator: María Paula Varela
Ulises Carrión: Post/Master, curated by María Paula Varela, will be Ulises Carrión’s first public exhibition in the United States. Carrión was a crucial figure in Mail Art, a prominent international movement of the 1970s and 1980s related to Conceptual Art, and in which artists exhibited material they had mailed to one another.
The exhibition showcases seven projects from Carrión’s The Big Monster, on loan from the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA) collection. These projects include hundreds of postcards, photographs, letters, and mixed media replies to Carrión’s collective postal works.
Language fascinated Carrión. Although he abandoned a literary career to become a visual artist, his interest in words and their meanings remained vital throughout his life. Ultimately, his Mail Art also took advantage of language’s spatial possibilities. Carrión’s main contribution to Mail Art proceeded from his realization that artistic correspondence could subvert bureaucratic institutions, which he viewed as anonymous and oppressive. These reflections constitute the conceptual core of the works in this
Ulises Carrión: The Big Monster, installation view, Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA) Foundation, New York, 2019
In Definitions of Art, for instance, Carrión prompted participants to share their definitions of art with him. He received an array of answers that ranged from political convictions to irreverence.
The vastness of The Big Monster attests to these moments of collective exchange. With the seven projects displayed in the gallery, Carrión marked a decisive shift away from art—in a narrow sense—to culture in general. He thus transformed himself from artist to postmaster, radically redefining the boundaries of his cultural interventions.
Ulises Carrión, from the series Defintions of Art, 1977
As Varela states in her curatorial statement, “Not only does Carrión act as his own postmaster—an organizer of all the Mail Art projects—but my use of the prefix post also qualifies master, alluding to the art historical term ‘Old Master,’ and in so doing referring to Carrión’s probing of artistic originality and authorship.”
The exhibition also provides an opportunity to consider the contemporary relevance of Carrión’s work at a moment when Mail Art has experienced a revival during the COVID-19 pandemic and when the United States Postal Service faces increased attention in advance of November’s election.
Gallery visitors will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the materiality of Carrión’s works, discovering a plurality of voices in his diverse projects. Ulises Carrión: Post/Master will be on view from October 16–December 4, 2020.
This exhibition is third in the series “On View: Curatorial Studies,” which features art exhibitions curated by SA+AH graduate students.
UG is grateful to ISLAA for their generous support of the exhibition.
Ulises Carrión, from the series A Poem, 1973
Visiting Scholar Lecture: Correspondences/ On Mail Art and the Work of Ray Johnson
Speaker: Dr. Johanna Gosse
Moderator: María Paula Varela
Date: Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 6pm.
In Conversation: Aimé Iglesias Lukin on the exhibition Ulises Carrión: The Big Monster
With an introduction by Ariel Aisiks, President & Founder, ISLAA
Moderator: María Paula Varela
Date: Thursday, November 12, 2020 at 5pm.
About University Galleries
The University of Florida University Galleries’ mission is to be a platform for relevant and experimental art research and a place where pressing contemporary conversations are amplified and shared with the university and expanded communities. The UG advances the School of Art + Art History’s commitment to the visual arts by offering an experimental space to bring people together around art and ideas, improving accessibility and inclusivity through direct student and community engagement; increasing the school’s visibility as a center for critical discourse around artistic research, production and scholarship, leading with preeminent programming.
University Galleries are comprised of three art galleries. University Gallery (UG) provides the greater Gainesville community with a contemporary venue that explores new directions in visual art, incorporating historical perspectives. Exhibitions feature nationally and internationally known artists, studio art faculty and MFA graduating thesis projects. The Gary R. Libby Gallery and the Constance and Linton Grinter Gallery of International Art present art exhibitions that are organized by graduate student curators, in conjunction with the director of the galleries, allowing students to learn experientially about curation, organization and exhibition making.
Daytime parking is available in reserved spaces between Fine Arts Building C (FAC) and Inner Road. From SW 13th Street, enter campus on Museum Drive. Turn right on Newell Drive, then right on Inner Road. Turn left into the parking lot behind FAC. The first three spaces on the left are reserved for gallery use. Parking permits are issued to gallery visitors in the University Gallery.
For more information, please contact the University Gallery at (352) 273-3000 or visit our website at www.arts.ufl.edu/galleries.
About the College of the Arts
The College of the Arts is one of the 16 colleges and more than 150 research centers and institutes at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. The College of the Arts offers baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its three institutionally-accredited schools — the School of Art + Art History, School of Music and School of Theatre + Dance. The college is home to the Center for Arts in Medicine, Center for Arts and Public Policy, Center for World Arts, Digital Worlds Institute, University Galleries and the New World School of the Arts in Miami. More than 100 faculty members and approximately than 1,200 students work together daily to engage, inspire and create. The college hosts more than 300 performances, exhibitions and events each year. Faculty and students also exhibit and perform at other local, national and international venues. To learn more, visit www.arts.ufl.edu.
About the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA)
The Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA) was established in 2011 in order to increase the visibility of Latin American art on a global scale. Since its creation, it has played an international role in fostering advanced research in this field. ISLAA sponsors lectures and symposia given and organized by renowned scholars, contemporary artists, and graduate students. It also supports publications that include academic volumes, exhibition catalogues, and artists’ books, as well as groundbreaking exhibitions on modern and contemporary Latin American art. To learn more, visit islaa.org.