Announcement
October 26, 2020

Ulises Carrión: Post/Master

University Galleries, The University of Florida

View of Ulises Carrión: The Big Monster (detail), Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA), 2019. Photo: Arturo Sánchez. Courtesy of the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA).

Ulises Carrión: Post/Master, curated by María Paula Varela, PhD Candidate in Art History, marks the first solo exhibition of Ulises Carrión at an American university. A Mexican-born resident of Amsterdam, Carrión (1941–1989) is renowned for his leading role in Mail Art, an international movement of artists who exhibited their material correspondence in alignment with Conceptual Art strategies in the 1970s–1980s. Seven of the ten projects that comprise Carrión’s core body of work, collectively titled The Big Monster, are on loan from the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA), which maintains Carrión’s 1,500-piece archive at its research center and exhibition space in New York City.

Hundreds of postcards, photographs, letters, and mixed-media replies to Carrión’s postal works are on display in the gallery, representing the projects Anonymous Quotations, A Poem, Cancellation Stamps, Definitions of Art, E.A.M.I.S., Feedback, and Rob & Marta.

Carrión shaped the course of Mail Art through his realization that artistic correspondence could subvert bureaucratic institutions, which he viewed as anonymous and oppressive. This conviction to confront such establishments head-on—in his words, to “knock at the doors of the big monster”—is central to the projects on view. Ulises Carrión: Post/Master traces Carrión’s decisive shift away from art, in a narrow sense, to culture in general. In transforming himself from artist to postmaster, Carrión radically redrew the boundaries for cultural intervention.

The exhibition also encourages visitors to consider the contemporary relevance of Carrión’s work at a moment when mail-based art practices are reviving amid COVID-19, and when the United States Postal Service faces increased politicization and pressure around November’s elections. Gallery visitors will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the materiality of Carrión’s works, discovering a plurality of voices in his diverse projects.

Ulises Carrión: Post/Master is the third installment in the University Gallery’s exhibition series “On View: Curatorial Studies,” curated by students from the School of Art + Art History. We are grateful to ISLAA for its institutional partnership and support of the exhibition. The University Gallery and ISLAA wish to acknowledge that Carrión’s extensive archive would not exist but for the formidable efforts of the artist during his lifetime, and his peers after his death in 1989. It is a privilege to share the legacy of this important artist from Latin America with audiences in the United States.

Two speaking engagements accompany the exhibition:

Wednesday, October 28, 5pm
Visiting Scholar Lecture

Correspondences/ On Mail Art and the Work of Ray Johnson
Dr. Johanna Gosse, Speaker / María Paula Varela, Moderator
Link to livestream

Thursday, November 12, 5pm
In Conversation

Aimé Iglesias Lukin on the exhibition Ulises Carrión: The Big Monster / María Paula Varela, Moderator
Link to livestream

Gallery hours: Monday to Friday, from 10am to 5pm


About University Galleries, University of Florida
The University of Florida University Galleries’ mission is to be a platform for relevant and experimental art research and a place where pressing contemporary conversations are amplified and shared with the university and expanded communities. University Galleries are composed of three art galleries: University Gallery, the Gary R. Libby Gallery and the Constance and Linton Grinter Gallery of International Art.

About ISLAA
The Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA) was established in 2011 in order to increase the visibility of Latin American art on a global scale. Since its creation, it has played an international role in fostering advanced research in this field. ISLAA sponsors lectures and symposia given and organized by renowned scholars, contemporary artists, and graduate students. It supports publications that include academic volumes, exhibition catalogues, and artists’ books, as well as groundbreaking exhibitions on modern and contemporary Latin American art, a program initiated in 2019 with Ulises Carrión: The Big Monster, curated by Aimé Iglesias Lukin. ISLAA Instagram

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