Secrets Unraveled: Artistic Responses in Repressive Regimes. A lecture by Claudia Calirman


Claudia Calirman will discuss how in Brazil of the 1960s and 1970s rebellious artists created works that were ethically and politically significant, while not necessarily aligning with any form of dogmatic ideology of the left or the right.

As incidents of visual art censorship accumulated, innovation became necessary, with artists developing more indirect modes of expression, appropriating the strategies of urban guerilla groups and performing quick actions outside art institutions. In the absence of any explicit criteria regarding the government’s repression of the visual arts, and fearing persecution, which was often exercised arbitrarily and without warning, many artists lived in a state of self-imposed censorship. They had to decipher and define for themselves the boundaries between the permissible and the forbidden. What kind of archival materials were available to preserve their works? How can one reconcile a political agenda with artistic innovation in countries under censorship?



Claudia Calirman is Associate Professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, in the Department of Art and Music. Her areas of study are Latin American, modern, and contemporary art. She is the author of Brazilian Art under Dictatorship: Antonio Manuel, Artur Barrio, and Cildo Meireles (Duke University Press, 2012), which received the 2013 Arvey Book Award by the Association for Latin American Art. She is a 2013 recipient of the Arts Writers Grant from Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation. Calirman has curated several exhibitions in New York, including Basta! Art and Violence in Latin America, Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery at John Jay College (2016) and Antonio Manuel: I Want to Act, Not Represent!, Americas Society (2011).


Free admission with advance registration.

The talk is part of the first session of the conference.