Researcher

Dr Verónica Tello

Keywords

Fields of Research (FoR)

Art history, theory and criticism, Heritage, archive and museum studies, Visual cultures, Visual arts

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Biography

Senior Lecturer, Contemporary Art History and Theory 

I am a Chilean-Australian art historian and writer. My research predominantly focuses on queer and migratory archives in/out of the Pacific, Latin America and Australia.

I completed my PhD (art history) at the University of Melbourne in 2013. My PhD was the basis of my first book, Counter-Memorial Aesthetics: Refugee Histories and the Politics of Contemporary Art (Radical Aesthetics Radical...view more

Senior Lecturer, Contemporary Art History and Theory 

I am a Chilean-Australian art historian and writer. My research predominantly focuses on queer and migratory archives in/out of the Pacific, Latin America and Australia.

I completed my PhD (art history) at the University of Melbourne in 2013. My PhD was the basis of my first book, Counter-Memorial Aesthetics: Refugee Histories and the Politics of Contemporary Art (Radical Aesthetics Radical Art series, Bloomsbury Philosophy, 2016). The book takes as its historical focus the protracted ‘global refugee crisis' from the 1990s to the present, across Australia, the UK and the Americas. It analyses how, within contexts marked by intensified border politics, contemporary artists have been grappling with how to represent, archive or abstract contested migratory histories. Within national landscapes brimming with monuments, 'counter-memorial aesthetics' opens up numerous tactics to understand the various ways that often invisible and/or erased migratory histories pass through us, and have the potential to reshape us, time and again.   

My second book, Future South: 8 Dialogues on Art and History is forthcoming (Dec, 2021) with Third Text Publications and ÉCFRASIS as a bilingual (English/Spanish) edition. Through 8 dialogues, the book develops a moving conceptual vocabulary of the aesthetics, politics, histories and potentialities of the Global South in collaboration with artists, writers and curators such as: Salote Tawale, Rolando López, Walter Mignolo, Dylan AT Miner, Zoe Butt, Jennifer Biddle, Ruth Simbao, Rachel O'Reilly, Carla Macchiavello and many others. (The project began in 2017 as an online dialogical project, futuresouths.org, and is substantially developed for the book). 

In my current scholarship, I have been focussing on the archive of the queer/Chilean artist Juan Dávila, and my own archive through methods of auto-theory. This new project has two main strands: the first focuses on the exhibition history of Margins and Institutions: Art in Chile after 1973 (1986), which I read as forging queer and transnational solidarity networks between Chilean and Australian arts workers, especially Juan Dávila, Paul Foss, Paul Taylor and Nelly Richard, during the Pinochet dictatorship. I am develop a monograph on this exhibition history and  with Sebastián Valenzuela Valdivia  I will develop a critical re-staging of the Margins and Institutions in Santiago (originally the exhibition was only seen Australia - across the Experimental Art Foundation, George Paton Gallery, Artspace, Chameleon and Praxis). The second strand of this new project focuses on Juan Dávila's video and performance work, and how these works unsettle the heteronormative/settler-colonial logics of Australian art history. 

In addition, I am currently working on an ARC Linkage project focussed on how collections and archives can catalyse epistemological experiments and equity (or, structural change) within Australian regional art museums. 

Recent publications: 

"I, You, We, Together: For Juan, Paul and Paul", Barbara Cleveland: Thinking Business, Eds Diana Baker Smith and Kate Blackmore, Goulburn, 2020. Available here.

"What is Contemporary about Institutional Critique?", Third Text, 2020. Available here.

with Diana Baker Smith, Opening Night (The Order of Arrangements) (2020), Know My Name, National Gallery of Australia. Details here.

 


My Grants

2021-2024: Australian Research Council, Linkage, Australian Regional Art Museums, Resettlement and Structural Change, with Ien Ang (Western Sydney Uni) and Salote Tawale (USyd) and Murray Art Museum Albury.

2020: Australia Council for Arts - Individual and Group Project funding, Australian Exhibition Histories: Margins and Institutions: Art in Chile after 1973 (1986) 

2019-2021: PLuS Alliance Research Fellowship, Latin American Art Networks 

2015-2018: UNSW Vice-Chancellor's Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Decolonial Futures and Contemporary Art

2015: Bundanon Trust Writer’s Residency, Counter-Memorial Aesthetics: Refugee Histories and the Politics of Contemporary Art 


My Qualifications

PhD, Art History/Visual Culture, University of Melbourne, 2013


My Research Activities

I am currently undertaking four inter-related research projects:

  • Exhibition history of Margins and Institutions: Art in Chile after 1973 (1986) focussed on the queer and transnational solidarity networks forged by Chilean and Australian arts workers, especially Juan Dávila, Paul Foss, Paul Taylor and Nelly Richard  (working with Sebastián Valenzuela Valdivia): 2017-2023

 

  • Juan Dávila's performance/video works and the heteronormative/settler-colonial logics of Australian art history: 2020-2024

 

  • (with Diana Baker Smith) analysis of the settler-colonial/possessive histories and epistemological underpinnings of the National Gallery of Australia and its collection, culminating in the video artwork entitled Opening Night (The Order of Arrangements) (2020), and related essay for the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art (2022)

 

  • Analysing how the curatorial can advance structural change to make present figures and histories shaped by migration/dispossession: in collaboration with Salote Tawale, Distinguished Professor Ien Ang, Philip Mar and the Murray Albury Museum of Art (funded by the Australian Research Council, Linkage program): 2021-2024.

My Research Supervision


Supervision keywords


Areas of supervision

Honours and Postgraduate (MFA/PhD) Supervision
I am interested in supervising students, including those pursuing practice-led research, in the following research areas:

  • Australian art histories, concepts, practices 
  • Latin American art histories, concepts, practices 
  • Time, memory, histories, futures - spanning queer, decolonial and feminist theories and practices (including memoir and auto-fiction) 
  • Borders, trans- and post- nationalisms, migration, globalisation 
  • Marxist, feminist methodologies and theories 
  • Institutional critique 

Currently supervising

PhD

Anabelle Lacroix (curatorial, practice-led research) - The politics of sound and contemporary art museums (joint with Caleb Kelly) 

Aneshka Mora (art theory/history) – Decolonialisation and Institutional Critique in Contemporary Australian Art

Teresa Hunter-Hicks (art theory/history) – Labour, Collaboration and Collectivity in Australian and North American Poster Collectives (1968-1991) (joint with Diana Baker Smith)

Completed

James Nguyen (practice-led research) – Making Chó bò*: Troubling Việtspeak: Collaborating, translating, and archiving with family in Australian contemporary art (joint with Jennifer Biddle), 2021.

Meredith Birrell (art theory/history) –The Fugitive Self: Posthuman subjectivity in the Essay-Films of The Otolith Group, Hito Steyerl and Ursula Biemann, 2020.

MFA

Amy Prcevich, Experiments with temporality of 'office work'  (joint with Diana Baker Smith) 

Evgenia (Jenny) Anagnostopoulou, Untitled (topic: curatorial experiments and the global souths) (joint with Diana Baker Smith) 

Lu Forsberg, Counter-Surveillance, Extractivism and Eco-Aesthetics (joint with Diana Baker Smith)

Amber Hammad, Speculative History and Critique of Gender in/out of Pakistan (joint with Diana Baker Smith)

Anney Bounpraseuth, Textiles/Memoir (joint with Diana Baker Smith) 

Completed

Elena Gomez, Admit the Joyous Passion of Revolt: Gender, Labour and Inter-generationality in Marxist-feminist poetics, 2019 (joint with Astrid Lorange)

HONOURS (ART HISTORY/THEORY)

Completed

Nicola Marshall, Gossip as Archival Method in Post-War Lebanese Contemporary Art, 2020

June Miskell, Embodied Knowledge And Collective Survival: Dance And Community In The Work Of Bhenji Ra, 2019.

Evgenia Anagnostopoulos, Crisis and The Curatorial: Tracing Emergent Forms Of Institutional Activity in Athens, 2018.

Melissa Mills, Performing and Contesting the Archive in Sites of Crisis, 2018.

Aneshka Mora, Indigenous and Migrant Solidarity in Contemporary Australian Art, 2017.

Hannah Waters, Visualising Necropolitics: Renzo Martens' Enjoy Poverty and Abbas Kiarostami's ABC Africa, 2017.

 

My Teaching

I convene the following courses within the Bachelor of Fine Art - across art history/theory, curatorial and studio: 

  • Australian Art, 1st year level (Art History/Theory)
  • Global Contemporary Art, 3rd year level (Art History/Theory) and Masters of Curating and Cultural Leadership
  • Contemporary Art Theories and Methods, 4th year/Honours level (Studio and Theory)
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