From its inception, modern art was object to great skepticism from critics and the public who saw a real mockery in its first attempts to step out of the box. That suspicion does not seem to have completely disappeared over time, as unconventional art currently still causes adverse reactions. Marcel Duchamp and Jeff Koons are precisely two of the artists whose work triggers great suspicion. However, for other spectators, they are two of the most radical and interesting artists ever. How can there be such a discrepancy in the public’s perception? This panel will discuss the reasons behind this dichotomy and will try to shed light on the importance of both artists’ work.

Guests: Luigi Amara, Daniel Aguilar Ruvalcaba, Karen Villeda, Itzel Vargas Plata

Luigi Amara (Mexico City, 1971) is a writer and editor. He is the author of El cazador de grietas (1998), Nu)n(ca, (International Poetry Prize “Manuel Acuña” in Spanish Language 2014), Historia descabellada de la peluca (finalist of the 2014 Anagram Essay Award), and Una caja adentro de una caja (2015). His most recent book is Dobleces / El quinto postulado (Sexto Piso, 2018). He has participated in collective exhibitions as Todos los originales serán destruidos, Galería House of Gaga (2014), and Mandala Mental, MUAC (2013).

Daniel Aguilar Ruvalcaba (León, 1988) is a contemporary artist. He participated in SOMA’s Academic Program and is an active member of Biquini Wax EPS.

Karen Villeda (1985) has published two books for children, Pelambres (Pearson, 2016) and Cuadrado de Cabeza. El mejor detective del mundo o eso cree él (Edebé, 2015); four poetry collections, Dodo (Conaculta, 2013), Constantinopla (Posdata Ediciones, 2013), Babia (UNAM, 2011), and Tesauro (Conaculta, 2010); and two essay collections, Visegrado (Almadía Editorial/INBA, 2018) and Tres (Cuadrivio Ediciones, 2016). In 2015 she participated in the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa and in 2018 she held a residency at the Vermont Studio Center. She has been awarded among others, the Premio Bellas Artes de Ensayo Literario “José Revueltas” 2017, Premio Nacional de Poesía “Clemencia Isaura” 2016, Premio de la Juventud de la Ciudad de México 2014, Premio Bellas Artes de Cuento Infantil “Juan de la Cabada” 2014, Premio Nacional de Poesía Joven “Elías Nandino” 2013, Primer Premio de poesía de la revista “Punto de Partida” 2008 and IV Premio Nacional de Poesía para Niños “Narciso Mendoza” 2005. At POETronicA she experiments with poetry and multimedia.

Itzel Vargas Plata earned her degree in art history from Universidad Iberoamericana, and her masters in contemporary art from the University of Manchester, UK. She has organized solo exhibitions of artists Minerva Cuevas, Sofía Táboas, Thomas Glassford, Pablo Vargas Lugo, Tania Candiani, Pia Camil, Pablo Helguera, and Iván Argote, among others. She has contributed texts to Mexican and international publications. She was chief of the research department of the Modern Art Museum in Mexico City and chief curator of the Casa del Lago Juan José Arreola. She has also held positions at the Museum of the Palacio de Bellas Artes and the National Art Museum. Currently she is curator at the Museo Universitario del Chopo and member of the cultural counsel of El Universal.