Researcher

Dr Veronica Tello

Field of Research (FoR)

Biography

Lecturer Contemporary Art History and Theory 

I am a Chilean/Australian art historian and writer. My research predominantly focuses on queer and migratory archives and epistemologies. I also adopt/engage practices of institutional critique, Marxist-feminism and post- and de-colonial theory and increasingly, memoir and autofiction/theory.

I am completed my PhD (art history) at the University of Melbourne in 2013. My PhD was the basis of...view more

Lecturer Contemporary Art History and Theory 

I am a Chilean/Australian art historian and writer. My research predominantly focuses on queer and migratory archives and epistemologies. I also adopt/engage practices of institutional critique, Marxist-feminism and post- and de-colonial theory and increasingly, memoir and autofiction/theory.

I am 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, North/Latin America and the UK. It analyses how, within contexts marked by intensified border politics, contemporary artists have been grappling with how to represent, archive or abstract contested histories of migration. I develop the concept of  counter-memorial aesthetics to articulate how artists’ engagements with contemporary historical experiences of border restrictions and border crossings contest fixed identity and origin points, pushing our sense of what memory can do to catalyse new forms of ‘becoming’. 

In my current scholarship I have been extending my thinking on the politics of memory/counter-memory by working with the archive of queer/Chilean artist Juan Dávila, especially from the 1980s, to critique the enduring colonial and heteronormative logics of Australian art history. 

My work on the politics of memory, and writing practice more broadly, is also shaped by institutional critique. 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 art institutions - with the Murray Art Museum Albury. Recent writings on institutional critique appear in Third Text and Memory Studies.


My Grants

2021-2023: 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 three inter-related research projects:

  • (with Sebastián Valenzuela Valdivia) a monograph on the 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, to produce this project. Following the monograph, Valenzuela-Valdivia and I will curate a critical re-staging of the exhibition Margins and Institutions: Art in Chile after 1973 (1986) in Santiago (originally staged during the Pinochet dictatorship, 1973-1990), the exhibition was only seen Australia - across the Experimental Art Foundation, George Paton Gallery, Artspace, Chameleon and Praxis)

 

  • (with Diana Baker Smith) a video artwork entitled Opening Night: The Order of Arrangements (2020) which examines the settler-colonial/possessive histories, values and epistemological underpinnings of the National Gallery of Australia and its collection. It focuses especially on the NGA's opening night, and the collection tour given to Queen Elizabeth II by James Mollison (inaugural Director of the NGA) and then Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser amongst others.

 

  • a moving conceptual vocabulary of the aesthetics, politics, histories and potentialities of the Global Souths via a project I lead entitled Future Souths (2017-) in collaboration with Salote Tawale, Walter Mignolo, Dylan Miner, Zoe Butt, Ruth Simbao, Rachel O'Reilly, Carla Macchiavello and many others. see: futuresouths.org

 


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 (practice-led research) - The politics of sound, institutional critique and contemporary art museums (curatorial, public programs focus) (joint with Caleb Kelly) 

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

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

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

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

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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