Only What the Wilderness Kept for Itself (Lo que la espesura conservó para sí misma) Conversation with Saúl Hernández-Vargas and Arden Decker, PhD
Join Lawndale for a conversation with exhibiting artist Saúl Hernández-Vargas and Arden Decker, PhD, as they discuss Hernández-Vargas’ artistic practice and explorations of history’s construction, the spectrality of indigenous Mexico, making past as available time, and resurrection.
A Mexican visual artist, editor and non-fiction writer, Saúl Hernández-Vargas’s work operates in conjunction with his academic research and art practice. His current interests include speculative design, construction of histories, archives, and geology. He holds an MFA in Visual Arts from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and is currently working on his Ph.D. at University of Houston. He was also an artist in residency at Nagoya University of Arts (Japan), Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (España), and FieldWork (Marfa, Tx). For 6 years, he has served as an editor for numerous publications in México, founding projects as Yagular Magazine and sur+ Ediciones. Additionally, he also worked as a professional lithography printer in the Taller de Artes Plásticas Rufino Tamayo and Taller La Chicana, in Oaxaca, Mexico, his home town.
Arden Decker is an art historian and curator. She holds a Ph.D. in Art History from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her research focuses on modern and contemporary art of Latin America with a concentration on Conceptual art and artistic interventions in Mexico during the 1960s-1970s. She was a fellow at the Smithsonian Latino Museum Studies Program (2007) and recipient of a Fulbright-García Robles award for her dissertation research in Mexico City (2011-2012).
She has contributed to a number of exhibitions in the U.S. and Mexico including a section of the anti-retrospective Gerzso, Gerzso, Gerzso at CCU Tlatelolco, UNAM (2015-2016) and Niérika: el archivo Lilly at the Centro de la Imagen (2016-2017). Her writing has appeared in the publications ASAP/J, caa.reviews, Gaceta Luna Córnea, and Terremoto, as well as in a number of exhibition catalogs including México: Inside/Out (the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 2012) and 68+50 (Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, UNAM, 2018).
In 2019, she joined the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston as the Associate Director of the International Center for the Arts of the Americas (ICAA) where she leads the Documents of Latin American and Latino Art digital archive and other research-based initiatives.