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Hanes Visiting Artist Lecture Series: Maria Gaspar, Huong Ngo, and Anna Martine Whitehead

Documentation photo of Anna Martine Whitehead performance

“Sousveillance and How to Think Like a Forest”

Register to attend here: https://go.unc.edu/o9CJk
Registration will end at 5 pm on February 7. A zoom link will be emailed to registrants 24 hours in advance of the lecture.

Sousveillance – watching from below, “the monitoring of authorities by informal networks of regular people, equipped with little more than cellphone cameras, video blogs and the desire to remain vigilant against the excesses of the powers that be.”[1]

In this conversation, Whitehead, Gaspar, and Ngô (a UNC BFA alumna) will speak on their respective practices which encompass performance, social practice, and installation, among others. They will draw relationships amongst their research which engage themes of liberation, surveillance, and belonging in the spirit of a collective building of knowledge.


Documentation image of Maria Gaspar's video Radioactive 2

Maria Gaspar is a Chicago-born artist whose practice addresses issues of spatial justice in order to amplify, mediate, or divert structures of power through individual and collective gestures. Working within historically marginalized sites, such as Cook County Jail located near her childhood home, she contends with the harrowing repercussions of systemic erasure by generating forms of liberatory actions with others. Her work spans formats and durations, including sound performances at a military site in New Haven (“Sounds for Liberation”); long-term public art interventions at the largest jail in the country (“96 Acres Project” and “Radioactive: Stories from Beyond the Wall”); appropriations of museum archives (“Brown Brilliance Darkness Matter”); and a sky-writing intervention at an immigrant detention center (“Soy Pas, Soy Más” for the nation-wide project In Plain Sight). Gaspar’s practice has been supported by the Art for Justice Fund, the Robert Rauschenberg Artist as Activist Fellowship, the Creative Capital Award, the Joan Mitchell Emerging Artist Grant, and the Art Matters Foundation. She is an Associate Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, holds an MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a BFA from Pratt Institute.

Documentation image of Huong Ngo performance

Hương Ngô is an artist born in Hong Kong and based in Chicago where she is an Assistant Professor in Contemporary Practices at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Beginning her studies as a biology major, she received her BFA at UNC at Chapel Hill (2001) and continued in Art & Technology Studies at the SAIC (MFA, 2004). Her research and archive-based practice began while a studio fellow at the Whitney Independent Study Program in 2012. She was recently awarded the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grant in Vietnam (2016) to realize a project, begun at the Archives Nationales d’Outre-Mer in France, recently exhibited at DePaul Art Museum (2017), and continued through the Camargo Core Program (2018), that examines the colonial history of surveillance in Vietnam and the anti-colonial strategies of resistance vis-à-vis the activities of female organizers and liaisons. Her work (solo and collaborative with Hồng-Ân Trương), described as “deftly and defiantly decolonial” by New City and “what intersectional feminist art looks like” by the Chicago Tribune, has exhibited at MoMA, MCA Chicago, Nhà Sàn Collective, The Factory Contemporary Art Centre HCMC, Para Site HK, among others. She was recently awarded the 3Arts Next Level Award and will participate in the upcoming Prospect.5.

Documentation image of Anna Martine Whitehead performance

Anna Martine Whiteheaddoes performance. They have been presented by the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art; San José Museum of Art; and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and recognized with awards from the Graham Foundation, MAP Fund, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, 3Arts, Chicago Dancemakers Forum, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Headlands Center for the Arts, Rauschenberg Foundation, and Djerassi. They have written about blackness, queerness, and bodies in action for Art21Magazine, C Magazine, frieze, Art Practical and Queer Dance: Meanings and Makings (Oxford, 2017); and is the author of TREASURE | My Black Rupture (Thread Makes Blanket, 2016).


This event is co-sponsored by the Ackland Art Museum.

An endowment established in 1983 through the generosity of Nancy and Robin Hanes supports the Art Department’s Visiting Artist Series. This important program brings both established and emerging artists to campus to discuss their work in public lectures and to offer individual critiques to our M.F.A. students.  The Hanes Visiting Artist series greatly enriches both our academic programs and our outreach to the wider community.  All lectures are free and open to the public.

Artists’ websites:
Maria Gaspar, https://mariagaspar.com
Huong Ngô, https://www.huongngo.com
Anna Martine Whitehead, https://annamartine.com/home.html

[1] Jascha Hoffman, “Sousveillance,” New York Times Magazine,December 10, 2006, https://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/10/magazine/10section3b.t-3.html

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