Toward a Material Poetics in South American Colonial Visual Culture

Tinker Visiting Professor Gabriela Siracusano presents a talk on her work, titled "Toward a Material Poetics in South American Colonial Visual Culture."

The materials involved in art objects enable us to think about the archaeological steps of creative process, the symbolic processes in their uses, their consumption and reception. In the case of sacred and devotional images, this equation appears to be more complex, as their materiality has an important role in the spiritual and religious experience itself. In Latin America, and more specifically in the South American visual culture, the material dimension of sacred images and objects created since Colonial times shows how woods, clay, gold and silver, precious stones and pigments, as well as many organic substances, embody not only significant meanings originated in European tradition but also a whole amount of cultural practices rooted in ritual as well as social, political, or economic necessities. By analyzing not only the physical and chemical dimension of these elements, but their cultural significations, we could understand part of the devotional processes involved in them, as well as rethink aspects linked to their conservation. This talk will introduce these and other topics.

Siracusano is Chair Professor of Theory and Historiography of Art at the Universidad de Buenos Aires, and at Universidad Nacional Tres de Febrero. She earned her PhD in Art History from the University of Buenos Aires, specializing in the material dimension of artistic production from the 16th century to the modern day. Dr. Siracusano is a Principal Scientific Researcher at CONICET (National Research Council, Argentina) and she has served as director of the Centro de Investigaciones en Arte, Materia y Cultura at the Universidad Nacional Tres de Febrero. She will teach a course on the visual and material culture of colonial Andean art in spring 2019.

For more information, contact Paloma Díaz.

To RSVP and receive event updates on Facebook, visit Material Poetics in South American Colonial Visual Culture.

Image: Carl & Marilynn Thoma Collection

Monday, February 25, 2019 at 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Sid Richardson Hall (SRH), Hackett Room, 1.313
2300 RED RIVER ST., Austin, Texas 78712

Event Type

Arts & Humanities


College of Liberal Arts, College of Fine Arts, Department of Art & Art History

Target Audience

Students, Faculty



Free and open to the public

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