Join us for a conversation between artist Beatriz Santiago Muñoz and psychoanalyst Patricia Gherovici on feminist utopias, the possibility of developing new languages to describe ourselves, and psychoanalysis’s role in propelling and undermining strategies of resistance. Organized on the occasion of “Beatriz Santiago Muñoz: Song, Strategy, Sign,” the conversation will take Santiago Muñoz’s presentation at the New Museum as a jumping-off point for discussion.
In “Beatriz Santiago Muñoz: Song, Strategy, Sign,” an exhibition and residency organized by the Department of Education and Public Engagement as part of its R&D Season: LEGACY, Santiago Muñoz premieres the new three-channel video That which identifies them like the eye of the Cyclops (2016). The video’s three parts are titled as a sequence: One/Song, Two/Strategy, and Three/Signs. The footage emerged from years of contact between Santiago Muñoz and a group of women, and each channel corresponds loosely to a different theme in Monique Wittig’s 1969 novel Les Guérillères, which describes a world where the patriarchy has fallen after a bloody war between the sexes. Like Les Guérillères, the video closely follows the sensorial and material worlds of the women and imagines a post-patriarchal future. Unlike the characters in Wittig’s novel, however, the women portrayed in Santiago Muñoz’s videos are real, and the story is rooted in the specific place and time that they inhabit—including Caribbean cities, bankrupted states, and coastal towns.
Santiago Muñoz’s presentation at the New Museum also features a set of commissioned masks as well as the silent 16mm film Black Beach/Horse/Camp/The Dead/Forces (2016), which weaves together portraits of those living in Vieques, Puerto Rico—the site of a bombing range used by the US Navy for sixty years. Together, the film, three-channel video, and masks in “Beatriz Santiago Muñoz: Song, Strategy, Sign” serve as testaments to the individuals who forge their own terms for how to live, remember, and advance their own evolving histories.
Patricia Gherovici is a psychoanalyst and analytic supervisor. She is currently Senior Member, Analyst, Supervisor, and Faculty at Apres-Coup Psychoanalytic Association New York, and Cofounder and Director of the Philadelphia Lacan Group. Her books include The Puerto Rican Syndrome (Other Press, 2003), which won the Gradiva Award and the Boyer Prize, and Please Select Your Gender: From the Invention of Hysteria to the Democratizing of Transgenderism (Routledge, 2010). Gherovici also has contributed to Lacan and Addiction: An Anthology (Karnac, 2011) and The Literary Lacan: From Literature to ‘Lituraterre’ and Beyond (Seagull Books, University of Chicago Press, 2013). She recently published a new collection with Manya Steinkoler, titled Lacan On Madness: Madness, Yes You Can’t (Routledge, 2015). Also with Steinkoler, she is currently coediting Psychoanalysis and Comedy (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming). Gherovici’s new book Psychoanalysis Needs a Sex Change: Lacanian Approaches to Sexual and Social Difference will be published by Routledge in 2016.
Beatriz Santiago Muñoz was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where she currently lives and works. Her recent exhibitions include “Beatriz Santiago Muñoz: A Universe of Fragile Mirrors,” Pérez Art Museum Miami (2016); “Ce qui ne sert pas s’oublie (what is not used is forgotten),” CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux, France (2015); “La Cabeza Mató a Todos,” TEOR/éTica, San José, Costa Rica (2014); “MATRULLA,” Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros, Mexico City (2014); “Under the Same Sun: Art From Latin America Today,” the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2014); “Post-Military Cinema,” Transmission Gallery, Glasgow International (2014); “The Black Cave,” Gasworks, London (2013); “Beatriz Santiago Muñoz / Trinh T Minh-Ha / Gregorio Rocha,” Tate Modern, London (2013); “Ensayos de Geopoética,” Mercosul Biennial VII (2011); and “Capp Street Project: Beatriz Santiago Muñoz,” CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (2008).
Santiago Muñoz is also a cofounder of Beta-Local, an arts organization in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Director of Sessions, a series of intensive seminars anchored in the specific geography, emerging art practices, and sociopolitical conditions of Puerto Rico. Santiago Muñoz is a 2015 Creative Capital Visual Arts award grantee.