Dialogue between Graciela Iturbide and Cuauhtemoc Medina

Dialogue between Graciela Iturbide and Cuauhtemoc Medina

Americas Society

Graciela Iturbide, Ciudad de Panamá, 1974
Pigment on archival rag paper
Courtesy of the artist

February 22, 2008

Dialogue between Graciela Iturbide and Cuauhtémoc Medina
Thursday, February 28, 6:30 PM

680 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021
T: (212) 249 8950
F: (212) 249 5868
Free Admission


Graciela Iturbide is internationally recognized for her iconic images of Mexico. The artist will discuss her work with Cuauhtémoc Medina, a Mexico City-based critic and art historian, and Associated Curator of Latin American art at the Tate Modern, London.

Graciela Iturbide was born on May 16, 1942 in Mexico City. She studied filmmaking with a special interest in scriptwriting and later still photography at the Centro Universitario de Estudios Cinematográficos, at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México from 1969 to 1972. It was there she met Manuel Álvarez Bravo, and in 1970 and 1971 she apprenticed with him. Solo exhibitions of her work have been held around the world, including Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and Casa del Lago, New Mexico. Major retrospectives of her work have been held at Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey, Mexico (1996) and at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (1997-98). She is the recipient of a Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography (1987) and a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Felloswhip (1988). Iturbide lives and works in Coyoacán, Mexico.

Cuauhtémoc Medina has an international reputation as an independent art critic, curator and historian. He studied for his PhD at the University of Essex and is on the International Advisory Board of the University of Essex Collection of Latin American Art (UECLAA). Since 1992 he has been a full time researcher at the Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas at the National University of Mexico. He is based in Mexico City and is on the advisory committee for the 2004 Carnegie International. He has served as a visiting professor at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College (New York State, USA), and is the associate curator of Latin American Art of the Tate Modern, London.

This public program accompanies the Torrijos: The Man and The Myth. Photographs by Graciela Iturbide currently on view at the Americas Society’s gallery.

In this exhibition, artist Graciela Iturbide explores in an intensely personal homage an era of contemporary Latin American life through the persona of a single man whose changing role in that history is emblematic of the times. She establishes both place and identity not only of her distinguished subject but the context of country, the land itself, in aesthetic and vernacular style alike. Presented for the first time, this complex body of work redefines the photographic image of General Omar Torrijos by looking at it as a document and metaphor, often deconstructing and reconstructing Iturbide’s own personal intersections with her subject. The symbolic and expressive imagery of the works, produced three decades ago, offer a visual paradigm that calls on memory, and a re-presentation of facts that conjure an emotional bond between subject and viewer, whether affirmative or oppositional.

Torrijos was a charismatic political and military leader who died tragically in a 1981 plane crash. The Torrijos legend is of a man of action, yet an idealist strategist and a polemic figure. The recent populist shift in Latin America recalls an examination of this earlier period of history, making the personality of Torrijos newly relevant. Iturbide provides an insightful portrait of Torrijos as a popular myth that blends tradition
and modernity.

This exhibition is curated by Nan Richardson and is organized by the Americas Society in conjunction with Umbrage Editions. Americas Society gratefully acknowledges the generous support of Galería Emma Molina, Graciela Iturbide, the Bruce T. Halle Family Foundation and La Fundación/Colección Jumex. Additional support has been provided by the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York.

The listed event is free, open to the public and will take place at Americas Society.
We are located at 680 Park Avenue at 68th Street, in New York City.
For wheelchair access, kindly call in advance.

Reservations are mandatory, so please RSVP to: (212) 277-8359 or culture@americas-society.org

For more information, visit www.americas-society.org If you have questions or comments, please email us at culture@americas-society.org

Americas Society

RSVP for Dialogue between Graciela Iturbide and Cuauhtemoc Medina
Americas Society
February 22, 2008

Thank you for your RSVP.

Americas Society will be in touch.

I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.