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PLATFORM #7: Umar Rashid, Caleb Duarte in conversation with Bill Kelley, Jr.


UMAR RASHID and CALEB DUARTE in conversation with BILL KELLEY, JR.     

Tuesday, March 8, 5:00 p.m.Zoom link:
The event is free and open to the public, presented live via Zoom with a recording available for post live-stream viewing.

ConSortiUm, a collaborative project of art museums and galleries from the California State University (CSU) system, is pleased to announce the Spring 2022 speaker event for our ongoing virtual event series PLATFORM. Launched in September 2020, PLATFORM actively engages students, faculty, staff, and communities through live virtual conversations with contemporary artists, collectives, and curators whose work is critical to current re-imaginings of the art world and the world at large.

This event is co-sponsored by SF State Fine Arts Gallery, CSUF Grand Central Art Center, CSUBakersfield Todd Madigan Gallery, CSU Dominguez Hills University Gallery, CSU Fullerton Begovich Gallery, CSU Sacramento University Galleries, and CSU Northridge Art Galleries.

Umar Rashid (also known as Frohawk Two Feathers) employs writing, illustration, painting, and sculpture to construct fabulations or, put simply, alternative historical narratives that reference a panoply of cultures, collapsing geography and time. At the core of his practice is a reimagining of romantic history painting and eighteenth-century colonial scenes. His work is informed by recognizable cultural references, whether historical materials such as Egyptian hieroglyphs, ledger art, Persian miniature painting, and illustrated Spanish colonial manuscripts or more contemporary phenomena such as the hip-hop era of the 1980s and 1990s. Alongside these identifiable sources—often regarded as “truth”—are unseen, fantastical stories, with Rashid taking on the role of what one might call a fabulist. His painterly tales complicate the idea of what is true and false, prompting us to consider whether the “truths” that we are taught may in fact be lies. 

Caleb Duarte is best known for creating temporary installations using construction type frameworks such as beds of dirt, cement, and objects suggesting basic shelter. His installations within institutional settings become sights for performance as interpretations of his community collaborations. Duarte has created public works and community performances at the World Social Forum in Mumbai, India; Santiago de Cuba, Cuba; El Pital, Honduras; and throughout Mexico and the United States. He is co-founder of EDELO, a Spanish acronym for (Where the United Nations Used To Be), a house of art in movement and an international artist residency of diverse practices in San Cristobal De Las Casas where he has collaborated with autonomous indigenous Zapatista collectives, communities in movement, and working children and refugees. Caleb Duarte is a professor of sculpture at Fresno City College in Fresno California where he has his studio. He continues to work with Central American unaccompanied minors currently seeking asylum working in community performance, sculpture, film, and painting.

Bill Kelley, Jr. is an educator, curator and writer based in Los Angeles. He holds a PhD in Art History, Theory and Criticism from the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) and a Masters in Art History from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque (UNM). He currently holds the position of Associate Professor of Latin American and Latino art history at California State University Bakersfield (CSUB). Kelley’s current research focuses on collaborative and collective art practices in the Americas. He has written for such journals as AfterallP.E.A.R., and Log Journal, and has co-edited an anthology with Grant Kester of collaborative art practices in the Americas entitled Collective Situations: Readings in Contemporary Latin American Art 1995-2010 (Duke University Press, 2017). He is currently Curator and Lead Researcher of Talking to Action: Art, Pedagogy and Activism in the Americas, a research, exhibition and publication platform, currently on tour, examining community-based art practices for Otis College of Art as part of The Getty’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative. Kelley also recently edited the bilingual volume Talking to Action: Art, Pedagogy and Activism in the Americas (University of Chicago Press, 2017).  

ConSortiUm is a ground-breaking collaborative that generates opportunities to include artists, curators, students, faculty, staff, and other allies from across the CSU campuses in visual arts-based dialogue. The CSU system represents the largest public four-year college system in the country, with more than 480,000 students enrolled at twenty-three campuses. Formed in Spring 2020 in response to the distance learning implemented by the CSU during the Covid-19 pandemic, ConSortiUm members are dedicated to responding to current societal issues and the pressing demand for an end to systemic and overt racism in California and beyond.
ConSortiUm’s participating CSU art museums and galleries include Bakersfield, Todd Madigan Gallery; Chico, Janet Turner Print Museum and Jacki Headley University Art Gallery; Dominguez Hills, University Gallery; East Bay, University Art Gallery; Fresno, Center for Creativity and the Arts; Fullerton, Nicholas & Lee Begovich Gallery and Grand Central Art Center; Humboldt, Reese Bullen Gallery and Goudi’ni Native American Arts Gallery; Long Beach, School of Art and Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum; Los Angeles, Luckman Gallery, Luckman Fine Arts Complex and Ronald H. Silverman Fine Arts Gallery; Northridge, Art Galleries; Pomona, W. Keith & Janet Kellogg University Art Gallery and Don B. Huntley Gallery; Sacramento, University Galleries; San Bernardino, Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art; San Diego, University Art Galleries; San Francisco, Fine Arts Gallery; San Jose, Natalie and James Thompson Gallery; Sonoma, University Art Gallery; and Stanislaus, University Art Gallery and Stan State Art Space.

Past participants of the PLATFORM series have included People’s Kitchen CollectiveValerie Cassel Oliver with Howardena PindellShaun LeonardoForensic ArchitecturePostcommodity, and Beatriz Cortez with Erin Christovale.CLICK HERE FOR RECORDINGS OF PAST PLATFORM CONVERSATIONS