Hi! Welcome to Instruments of Memory. I’m Claudia Pretelin. I’m a Mexican art historian, independent researcher, and arts administrator based in Los Angeles, California. This site is my long-term art history documentation project. It has evolved with time and I find myself now focusing on personal interviews with women in the arts. I ask about their work, their interests, and future projects. If this intrigues you, I encourage you to subscribe and maybe even take a dive into the archives.
NEW ON INSTRUMENTS OF MEMORY!
FROM HER STUDIO IN CHINATOWN WE INTERVIEWED ARTIST DANA FUNARO
As an artist, Dana Funaro’s practice is rooted in printmaking. But she incorporates a diverse mix of media and techniques related to time capturing, creating devices that allow the viewer to find a place of common refuge in a body of work that acts as an interlude between loss, growth, and transformation. Last year, at the beginning of the pandemic, the artist found refuge in her art studio in Chinatown near downtown Los Angeles. In this historic neighborhood also impacted by the health crisis, Funaro created a beautiful, peaceful, and calm space that she now shares with her partner and that allowed her to focus more fully on her practice and cope with the craziness of the outside world. Read more about her work and projects here.
Dana Funaro is an artist living and working in Los Angeles. Her work is a meditation on the human experience and an attempt to understand our relationships to one another within the cosmos. In search of balance between control and chance, she uses materials as metaphors to explore themes of time, memory, grief, acceptance and healing. Loss, growth and transformation all leave behind memories that are powerfully symbolic. Materials with these inherent qualities are intrinsic in her work.
AN INTERVIEW WITH MURIEL HASBUN, ARTIST AND EDUCATOR
Muriel Hasbun’s expertise as an artist and as an educator focuses on cultural identity, migration and memory. Her awards and distinctions include: FY21 AHCMC Artist Grant, Trawick and Sondheim Finalist; CENTER Santa Fe’s Producer’s and Curator’s Choice, Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, Howard Chapnick Grant; Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Awards in Photography and Media; U.S. Department of State/AAM Museums Connect grant; Artist in Residences at Chataqua/CU Boulder, Centro Cultural de España, El Salvador, and Escuela de Bellas Artes, Mexico; the Corcoran’s Outstanding Creative Research Faculty Award, and a Fulbright Scholar fellowship.
Hasbun’s work has been internationally exhibited and is in private and public collections: American University Museum, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Centro de la Imagen, Civilian Art Projects, Corcoran Gallery of Art, FotoFest, Lehigh University, Light Work, Maier Museum of Art, Mexican Cultural Institute, Museo del Barrio, Museum of Photographic Art, Rencontres de la Photographie, Smithsonian American Art Museum, University of Texas-Austin, Whitney Museum, 50th Venice Biennale.
Building upon her career as a socially engaged artist and a photography professor, Hasbun is currently the founder and director of laberinto projects, a transnational, cultural memory initiative fostering contemporary art practices, social inclusion and dialogue in El Salvador and its U.S. diaspora.
She is Professor Emerita at George Washington University and the 2021 Estelle Lebowitz Endowed Visiting Artist at Rutgers University. Her work is represented by RoFa Projects.
INSTRUMENTS OF MEMORY ONLINE EXHIBITION: ABOVE AND UNDER THE SURFACE OPENS OCTOBER 15TH!
A CONVERSATION WITH THE DIRECTOR OF THE MUSEUM OF WOMEN IN COSTA RICA, CLAUDIA MANDEL KATZ
Claudia Mandel Katz is a professor, researcher, curator and the founder and director of the Women’s Museum in Costa Rica since 2009. Professor of drawing and painting from the Prilidiano Pueyrredón National Academy of Fine Arts, Buenos Aires, Argentina. She received a Bachelor degree in Art History from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, graduated with a Master of Arts, and a double PhD in History and Society Studies and Culture from the University of Costa Rica. She is the author of the books Map of the female body. A deconstructive reading of visual creators in Costa Rica and Aesthetics of the border Aesthetic practices and violence against women in Latin America.
AN INTERVIEW WITH ILEANA DOBLE HERNÁNDEZ
Ileana Doble Hernández’s socially conscious practice expands to photography, video, installation and new media. Her works are part of public and private collections and have been shown in publications and venues in North America, Europe and Asia. Ileana believes that art has the power to make people care, she provokes the audience to think about systems of inequality and the effect of gun violence on children. Through her installations more than 400 postcards have been mailed to U.S. elected officials advocating for gun control. Her practice is influenced by her perspectives as a mother and as an immigrant living in the U.S.A. for a decade.
AN INTERVIEW WITH GABRIELLE GARCIA STEIB
Gabrielle Garcia Steib is an archivist, filmmaker and photographer from New Orleans frequenting Nicaragua and Mexico. She is interested in ways in which Latin America is connected with the deep south, specifically ways in which collective memory and images are used to communicate in political landscapes.
Gabrielle holds a B.A. in English and Digital Media from Loyola University. Her work has been exhibited at NOMA, the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans, and Museo de la Ciudad and Los 14 in Mexico City. Her films have been screened at New Orleans Film Festival, Taxco International Film Festival, and Baja California International Film Festival. In 2019 she participated in residencies at the UnionDocs, Joan Mitchell Center, and Antenna. She has written and translated for various magazines including Terremoto Magazine, and Antigravity Magazine where she started the first bilingual column about the Latinx community in New Orleans.
Before you go…
A CONTINUOUS LINE: AN INTERVIEW WITH KRISTIINA LAHDE
𝔽𝕠𝕣 𝕞𝕖, 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕡𝕠𝕨𝕖𝕣 𝕠𝕗 𝕒𝕣𝕥 𝕚𝕤 𝕥𝕠 𝕞𝕒𝕜𝕖 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕚𝕟𝕧𝕚𝕤𝕚𝕓𝕝𝕖, 𝕧𝕚𝕤𝕚𝕓𝕝𝕖 – 𝕥𝕠 𝕤𝕖𝕖 𝕤𝕠𝕞𝕖𝕥𝕙𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕔𝕠𝕞𝕡𝕝𝕖𝕥𝕖𝕝𝕪 𝕕𝕚𝕗𝕗𝕖𝕣𝕖𝕟𝕥𝕝𝕪. 𝕀 𝕒𝕤𝕜 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕧𝕚𝕖𝕨𝕖𝕣 𝕥𝕙𝕣𝕠𝕦𝕘𝕙 𝕞𝕪 𝕨𝕠𝕣𝕜 𝕥𝕠 𝕣𝕖𝕔𝕠𝕘𝕟𝕚𝕫𝕖 𝕒𝕣𝕥 𝕚𝕟 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕞𝕠𝕤𝕥 𝕙𝕦𝕞𝕓𝕝𝕖 𝕠𝕣 𝕔𝕠𝕞𝕞𝕠𝕟 𝕞𝕒𝕥𝕖𝕣𝕚𝕒𝕝𝕤.– 𝕂𝕣𝕚𝕤𝕥𝕚𝕚𝕟𝕒 𝕃𝕒𝕙𝕕𝕖
Check out our new interview with Canadian artist, Kristiina Lahde. For this interview, Lahde talks about her process, work inspiration, and her most recent exhibition 𝐅𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐨𝐰 𝐚 𝐂𝐮𝐫𝐯𝐞𝐝 𝐋𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐌𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐚 𝐂𝐢𝐫𝐜𝐥𝐞 𝐚𝐭 𝐌𝐊𝐆𝟏𝟐𝟕. Read more…
Kristiina Lahde is an artist from Toronto, Canada. She alters and re-formats ordinary objects and materials to make collages, photos and sculptural constructions. Lahde received her BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1999. Since then she has been exhibiting across Canada and in the USA. Recent exhibitions include PLAY/GROUND in Medina, NY, In and Out of Order at OBORO in Montreal and at MKG127 in Toronto. She has also exhibited at the Koffler Gallery and The Power Plant in Toronto, and at La Biennale de Montréal. Her works are held in several private and public collections including the Canada Council Art Bank, and she was long listed for the 2013 Sobey Art Award. Kristiina Lahde is represented by MKG127 in Toronto.
TELL ME HOW IT ENDS: MARNI SHINDELMAN IN CONVERSATION WITH SARAH E. WEBB
In advance of our interview, Marni shared with me the poem Home by Warsan Shire. In it, the line, “you have to understand, no one puts their child in a boat, unless the water is safer than the land” speaks volumes, revealing the foundation of what it means to feel secure. Shindelman’s work alters the landscape of a narrative we think we know. In her work she documents the interlocking stories we have failed, or refused to see, says Sarah E. Webb in Tell Me How It Ends a new interview with photographer Marni Shindelman.
Marni Shindelman’s practice investigates the data tracks we amass through networked communication. Her work ties the invisible to actual sites, anchoring the ephemeral in photographs. Her latest work Restore the Night Sky looks at the influence privatized immigration detention centers have on the rural landscapes they inhabit. Read full interview HERE.
MIRASOL ESTRADA ON FALLING IN LOVE WITH PHOTOGRAPHY AND BRINGING PHOTO CONSERVATION TO FAMILY ARCHIVES
We talked with Mexican photo conservator, Mirasol Estrada about her career experience and how she’s bringing photo conservation practices to family photo archives in her hometown, Guadalajara, Jalisco. Check out this new interview and learn more about Estrada’s work here.
Mirasol Estrada is a conservator of photographic materials. She currently works as a private consultant for museums, galleries and private collectors in the United States and Mexico, and has recently started a project specifically tailored for family photographs and archives. She graduated with honors from the Escuela de Conservación y Restauración de Occidente in Guadalajara, Mexico, her hometown. In 2007, she was awarded by the Mellon Foundation to study in the Advanced Residency Program in Photograph Conservation at the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, NY. There she helped develop a system to safely access film rolls from the Mexican Suitcase, newly discovered photographs of the Spanish Civil war. After the program Mirasol became the Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Photograph Conservation at the Art Institute of Chicago. At the Institute her studies focused on the Working Practices in Photography of the Bauhaus . She has also worked at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C. and for the Photography Collection in Fundación Televisa in Mexico City. She has given presentations in the United States, Mexico, Uruguay and Argentina and continues teaching conservation and history of photography.