June 16, 2021
To register for this artist talk, go here.
“FotoFest is pleased to present a conversation between artists Francis Almendárez, Kara Springer, and Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality and Comparative Cultural Studies at the University of Houston, Rachel Afi Quinn. For their conversation, the guests will discuss their practices, focusing on the shared aspects of their research, writing, and art-making including their interest in systemic and institutional gender, sexuality, race, and migration issues, political and cultural histories of the global South, and contemporary social justice issues. In addition to speaking about their work, the guests will reflect on the theme of the Recording the Blur exhibition, which explores the relationship between time, experience, visibility, and production through the lens of the pandemic years.
A live Q&A with the audience will follow the discussion. Questions may be submitted via the chat interface on Zoom or YouTube.
This event will be broadcast live on Zoom and on FotoFest’s YouTube Channel. Advanced registration is required to attend the Zoom webinar. To watch the event via YouTube, visit www.youtube.com/fotofestintl.
This program is held in conjunction with the exhibition Public Life: Recording the Blur, on view February 20–May 30 in the Arts District Houston. To learn about the exhibition, visit http://fotofest.org/public-life-recording-the-blur.
About the guests
Francis Almendárez is an artist, filmmaker, and educator working at the intersections of history, (auto)ethnography, and cultural production. In attempting to make sense of and reconstruct identity, he uses them as tools to address memory and trauma, specifically of im/migrant, queer, working-class bodies of Central America, the Caribbean, and the Diasporas. Almendárez has participated in exhibitions and screenings in the USA and abroad including rhythm and (p)leisure, Artpace, San Antonio, TX (2019); The Potential Wanderer, The Reading Room, Dallas, TX (2019); Sisyphus, Ver.20.18, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan (2018); and Voices of Our Mothers: Transcending Time and Distance, Houston Center for Photography, Houston, TX (2018). Almendárez is the recipient of various awards including a Houston Artadia Award, the Carol Crow Memorial Fellowship from Houston Center for Photography, and artist grants, in collaboration with his brother Anthony Almendárez, from Y.ES Contemporary and the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance. He has been a participant of the Artpace International Artist-in-Residence program, and the Institute of Contemporary Art Moscow Summer School. Writing on his work has been featured in publications including D Magazine, spot Magazine, Artforum, ARTNEWS, Glasstire, Y.ES Contemporary, and The Dallas Morning News among others. Almendárez was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA and is currently living and working in Houston, TX where he is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Houston School of Art. He received his MFA in Fine Art (with Distinction) from Goldsmiths, University of London and a BFA in Sculpture/New Genres from Otis College of Art and Design.
Rachel Afi Quinn was born and raised in Durham, North Carolina. She earned a Ph.D. in American Culture from the University of Michigan and is now an assistant professor of Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies and Comparative Cultural Studies at the University of Houston. Her transnational feminist cultural studies scholarship focuses on mixed race, gender and sexuality in the African Diaspora and her first book, Being La Dominicana: Race and Gender in the Visual Culture of Santo Domingo will be published in July 2021 with University of Illinois Press. Her essay “‘No tienes que entenderlo, solo respetalo’: Xiomara Fortuna, Racism, Feminism and Other Forces in the Dominican Republic” was published in The Black Scholar. Her essay “Spinning the Zoetrope: Visualizing the Mixed-Race Body of Dominican Actress Zoe Saldaña” was published in Latin American & Latinx Visual Culture and her review of the 2020 FotoFest exhibition African Cosmologies: Photography, Time and the Other was published in Burlington Contemporary. Dr. Quinn was part of a filmmaking team that produced the documentary film Cimarrón Spirit (2015) about contemporary Afro-Dominican identities. She is a co-founder of the social justice feminist collective South Asian Youth in Houston Unite (SAYHU).
Kara Springer is particularly concerned with armature—the underlying structure that holds the flesh of a body in place. She works with photography, sculpture, and site-specific interventions to explore systems of structural support through engagement with architecture, urban infrastructure, and systems of institutional and political power. Springer holds degrees from the University of Toronto, ENSCI les Ateliers in Paris, and the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. Her work has been exhibited at the Philadelphia Institute of Contemporary Art, the National Gallery of the Bahamas, the National Gallery of Jamaica, and the Frankfurt Museum of Applied Arts. She is an alum of the Independent Study Program at the Whitney Museum of American Art and currently holds a fellowship with the Museum of Fine Arts Houston Core Program.”
Silver Street Studios, 2000 Edwards Street
Houston, 77007 TX
(713) 223-5522Get directions