Seminar of Carlos Amorales with guests

The Sound of Painting

June 10 -12

June 10 at 2 pm until 6 pm UK time (Wolfson College, Oxford (hosted by the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing)

June 11 and 12 at 5:30 pm until 9 pm UK time at Livingston Studio, in its home facility in Hampstead (36, New England Square)

In this seminar for the Institute of Philosophy and Music, the contemporary artist Carlos Amorales will explain how, throughout the last twenty-five years, he has integrated music into his works in ways that go beyond musicalizing images, but inventing instruments, systems of musical notation and composing, in a way in which the artist hacks the world of music, proposing systemic transformations. To accompany his presentation, Amorales invited the experimental singer Sarmen Almond to give a voice workshop in which the public was invited to do a series of vocal exercises and sing. Finally, the Los Angeles musicologist Josh Kun and the Mexican art historian Cuauhtémoc Medina, will accompany the three sessions of the seminar, commenting and dialoguing with the artist.

Carlos Amorales, 1970 (Lives and works in Mexico City)

Carlos Amorales is a multidisciplinary artist who explores the limits of language and translation systems to venture into the field of cultural experimentation. He uses graphic production as a tool to develop linguistic structures and alternative working models that allow new forms of interpretation and foster collectivity. In his projects, Amorales examines identity construction processes, proposes a constant re signification of forms present in his work, and provokes a clash between art and pop culture.

His research processes are complex; they are based in an ample repertoire of empirical methodologies to develop extensive projects that conjugate historical, cultural, and personal references. His practice expands to diverse media such as drawing, painting, sculpture, or collage; as well as performance, installation, animation, sound art, film, writing, among other non- traditional formats. He studied visual arts in the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, both in the city of Amsterdam, Netherlands.

The most extensive researches in his work encompass Los Amorales (1996-2001), Liquid Archive (1999-2010), Nuevos Ricos (2004-2009), and a typographic exploration in junction with cinema (2013-present). Between his numerous individual exhibitions, we can mention: The Factory, Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam, 2019) Working Tools, MAMM, (Medellin, 2017); Anti Tropicalia, Museo de Arte y Diseño (Costa Rica, 2015); Black Cloud, Power Plant, (Toronto, 2015); El Esplendor Geométrico, Kurimanzutto (México, 2015), Germinal, Museo Tamayo (Mexico City, 2013); Nuevos Ricos, Kunsthalle Fridericianum (Kassel, 2010); Four Animations, Five Drawings and a Plague, Philadelphia Museum of Art (2008); Discarded Spider, Cincinnati Art Center (2008). Some of his most outstanding collective exhibitions comprise: Under the Same Sun. Art From Latin America Today, Guggenheim Museum (New York, 2014); New Perspectives in Latin American Art, MoMA (New York, 2007); Mexico City: An Exhibition About The Exchange Rate of Bodies and Values, MoMA PS1 (New York, 2002); and performances as Amorales vs. Amorales, Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris 2001), SF MoMA (San Francisco, 2003), and Tate Modern (London, 2003). Additionally he has participated in biennials like Manifesta 9 (Belgium, 2012), Bienal de la Habana (Cuba, 2015 y 2009), Performa (New York, 2007), Berlin Biennial (2001 y 2014), Manif d´art 8 The Québec Biennale 2017, and La Biennale di Venezia (2003 y 2017).

His works are available in international collections such as Museo Tamayo and the Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City: Tate Modern, London; The Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam; among others.

Cuauhtemoc Medina (Mexico City, December 5 1965)

Art critic, curator and historian, holds a Ph.D. in History and Theory of Art from the University of Essex in Britain. Since 1993 he has been a full time researcher at the Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and between 2002 and 2008 was the first Associate Curator of Art Latin American Collections at the Tate Modern. He is currently Chief Curator at the MUAC Museum in Mexico city.

In 2012, Medina was Head Curator of the Manifesta 9 Biennial in Genk, Belgium, titled The Deep of the Modern,  in association with Katerina Gregos and Dawn Ades. In 2018 he was chief curator of the 12th Shanghai Biennial titled. “Proregress. Art in the age of historical ambivalence” at the Power Station of Art.

In 2012 he became the sixth recipient of the Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement of the Menil Foundation. Among many publications he has recently published a collection of his essays on Mexican art titled: Abuso Mutuo (Mutual Abuse), RM and Cubo Blanco, 2017 and the book Olinka: El sueño del Dr. Atl  in 2019.

Josh Kun is a cultural historian, author, curator, and MacArthur Fellow. His books include Audiotopia: Music, Race, and America, The Tide Was Always High: The Music of Latin America in Los Angeles, Songs in the Key of Los Angeles, and others. As a curator and artist, his projects have appeared with Prospect New Orleans, Steve Turner Gallery, Grammy Museum, Getty Foundation, SFMOMA, California African American Museum, the Los Angeles Public Library, and more. He has been the recipient of a Berlin Prize and an American Book Award. He is Vice Provost for the Arts at USC, where he is Professor and Chair of Cross-Cultural Communication in the USC Annenberg School. His latest curated exhibition, “We Have All the Time in the World,” opens in July at the Ucross Art Gallery.

Sarmen Almond

Mexican musician and vocal performer. Intermedia artist and singing teacher specialising in the Roy Hart tradition. M.A. in Sonic Arts with honours (Queen’s University, Belfast).

Sarmen uses the human voice in relation to new technologies to create compositions and decompositions of personality on stage. She pursues a constant search for the infinite vocal possibilities that the human body throws up as an instrument, as well as the reflection of these sonorities in physical and imaginary spaces, shown through audio and images/videos displayed in real time on the performer’s body.

She has performed with original pieces in Mexico, Aberdeen, London, Belfast, France, Seville, Edinburgh, Prague, Falmouth, Sheffield, The Hague, Utrecht, York, Barcelona, Singapore, among others; as well as performing Luminocity by Marina Abramovic and Mirror Check by Joan Jonas at the Manchester International Festival, UK (2011).

Almond has also taught and collaborated in Mexico and Europe with voice teachers in the tradition of Roy Hart such as Enrique Pardo and Linda Wise (Pantheatre, France). She worked as a musician at the Roy Hart International Centre, Malerargues, France for 7 years (2007 – 2014) during the Myth and Theatre festivals, directed by the same institution Ecole Experimentale de la Voix, Pantheatre.

Almond currently focuses on composing and performing solo pieces for voice and electronic media. She also produces sound environments for theatre and free improvisation concerts. She is also a member of Man In Motion, a downtempo duo, together with Omar Lied.

At the same time she is director and founder of Alquimia Vocal, a pedagogical platform that offers a space for continuous training and professionalization, specialising in the use of the voice for the stage. AV organises annually since 2020 the International Meeting Alquimia Vocal, which brings together master specialists of the human voice to offer one-week workshops in Mexico during the month of November.