Ruins of Modernity: "Memory Remains, a Museum of Un-Natural History" with Francesc Torres
Speaker(s): Francesc Torres (Visual Artist)
Ruins of Modernity Presents:
"Memory Remains, a Museum of Un-Natural History"
Memory Remains, based on the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City, is a meditation on history, memory and trauma and their means of representation. It is also a statement about the nature of liminal warfare; something that was not present in the realm of consciousness at the time. However, it is now permeating our current reality as the paradigm of future warfare in which anything can be weaponized and anything can constitute an act of war, with or without violence. In the domain of armed conflict, this erasing of boundaries mimics, paradoxically, Duchamp’s century-old dictum that anything can be art (complemented in the 60’s and 70’s by Joseph Beuys’ proposition that everybody is an artist). Both statements have been haunting us ever since. The avantgarde - as well as contemporary art - and war mirror each other, in the sense that both want to be total and encompass everything outside and beyond any defining boundaries.
Francesc Torres is a Visual Artist and Installation Art pioneer from Barcelona, currently based in New York. His work, often rooted in the examinations of objects such as architectural ruins, militaristic fetishes, or media artifacts, contemplates tensions between the persistence of time and the fragility of memory in politically charged spaces. His work has been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of America Art, the International Center of Photography, the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMa), the Nationalgalerie (Berlin), the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Madrid), and the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, among others. His work has been published in a wide number of public collections and institutions worldwide. It has been recognized with numerous awards, including the National Fine Arts Prize by Catalonia’s Government, and supported by fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the D.A.A.D. Berliner Kunstprogram, and a Fulbright. Torres is also curator of various exhibitions and collaborates with several publications and journals. Following pieces such as Belchite/South Bronx: A Trans-Cultural and Trans-Historical Landscape (1987) or Dark is the Room Where We Sleep (2007), in 2009 Torres was commissioned by the National September 11 Memorial& Museum to photograph the World Trade Center debris housed in Hanger 17 at John F. Kennedy International Airport. In keeping with his long-standing interest in questions of human memory and meaning, Torres’s work focuses on the belief that it is through the remains of history that memory remains.
This talk will be in English and will take place at Pigott Hall (Building 260), Room 252.
Lunch boxes will be served.
For more information, please contact Prof. Resina or Laura Menéndez at: jrresina [at] stanford.edu or lauramen [at] stanford.edu
*Image: Courtesy of Francesc Torres