WELCOME!

Claudia Pretelin, New York City, 2016. © Image by Bryan Murray

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.

IN JUNE!

DON’T MISS THIS NEW CONVERSATION WITH PHOTO CONSERVATOR MIRASOL ESTRADA!

Mirasol Estrada.
Photo by Nico Covarrubias

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.

WE’RE LOOKING FOR YOUR INSTRUMENTS OF MEMORY! CHECK OUT THIS OPEN CALL

COMING SOON!

LA BASED ARTIST DANA FUNARO TALKS ABOUT HER PRACTICE

Dana Funaro
Photo by Gina Clyne

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

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.

A CONVERSATION WITH THE DIRECTOR OF THE MUSEUM OF WOMEN IN COSTA RICA, CLAUDIA MANDEL KATZ

Claudia Mandel Katz, PhD.

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.

IN THE STUDIO WITH CANADIAN ARTIST, KRISTIINA LAHDE

Kristiina Lahde

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. 

Stay tuned!

Before you go…

Don’t miss:

Stacy Renee Morrison & Sarah E. Webb in conversation

Stacy Renee Morrison (left) & Sarah E. Webb (right)

Sarah E. Webb joins the IoM team as a contributor interviewing artist and photographer Stacy Renee Morrison. Read Stories we tell, stories we keep here.

Stacy Renee Morrison received a grant from the Rhode Island Council of the Humanities to research and make photographs about the life of Sylvia DeWolf Ostrander. She has exhibited her photographs in New York City, Rhode Island, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Toronto, Parma, Italy, Cordoba, Argentina, and Jeonju, South Korea.  Morrison teaches in the MFA Visual Narrative Department and BFA Photography and Video Department at the School of Visual Arts.  She is also a still-life photographer who makes quiet, polite, and sometimes-macabre photographs.  She never misses an opportunity to dress up as a 19th-century woman. She is currently working on a book about Sylvia called The Girl of My Dreams.  She also recently launched a silkscreened clothing line with images of Victorian women and ephemera named Sylvia after her beloved 19th-century friend.

Sarah E. Webb’s path is comprised of many stitches, but at heart, she is a storyteller and teacher. From the artist studio to the yoga studio, her multi-disciplinary approach considers both spaces as creative sites of corporeal process and practice. Webb received her MFA from Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, NY, and is the co-editor of Singular Women: Writing the Artist, UC Press, 2003. For over a decade, she has immersed herself in the physical and philosophical teaching of the yogic tradition, guided by Dr. Douglas Brooks and Vishali Varga. As a writer and a teacher, Sarah weaves her critical, visual, and perceptual background into a unique environment to map and make meaning of one’s individual body stories and experiences: from breath to pen, mat to page. She is currently completing her CPA in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University and writing a collection of essays.

THOUGHTS ON DRAWING: AN INTERVIEW WITH DULCE CHACÓN

Dulce Chacón.
Photo by Oswaldo Ruiz

“I am interested in certain events that shape the collective memory of a community, that are mediated by the image and that speak of visuality itself, as well as the ways of understanding and shaping “the world”. I am struck by the procedures that are involved in the transition from the photographic image to the drawn image: interpretation, illustration, and evocation, since they are ways of understanding the record of an event.” – Dulce Chacón

Back in the summer of 2020 during lockdown Instruments of Memory talked to Dulce Chacón from her studio in Mexico City. We discussed her background, her relationship with the production of photographic images, her career, and her current projects including Cuadernillo de Dibujo, an extension of her work not only as an artist but as an educator and art promoter.

Dulce Chacón, is a visual artist and illustrator currently living and working in Mexico City. Her work is a graphic reflection about the visual documentation and its methods of representation, having as an objective to establish relations between the procedures in the translation of the photographic images to drawings. Read more…