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Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

Invitation to Defense of Eliana Otta, Ph.D. in Practice, January 11, 2023, 1pm - 3pm

Dear All,

The Ph.D. in Practice Program of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna kindly invites you to the Defense of Eliana Ottas’s dissertation project Lost & Shared: Approaches to collective mourning, towards affective and transformative politics. The Committee is made up of: Mag. Dr. Moira Hille (chair), Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Anette Baldauf (1st supervisor), Univ.-Prof. Dr. Renate Lorenz (2nd supervisor), and Prof. Athena Athanasiou (external appraiser, Panteion University, Athens).

Date: Wednesday, January 11, 2023; 1pm - 3pm

The event will take place at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Schillerplatz 3, 1010 Vienna, room tower 2, DG06.

Taking as a departure point my experience working with war survivors in Peru, this project investigates how art can enable the collectivization of mourning. I connected my interest in the act of mourning human losses with my experiences living in Athens, Greece, where I encountered depression as a common diagnosis on both the individual and collective levels. If being depressed relates to unresolved mourning processes, what are the objects of loss caused by economic crisis and political disillusion? How can art help us to mourn an abstract loss, such as a political project, a certain sense of dignity, a particular relation with time and nature, or a fixed role in the familial structure? How could mourning be shared to allow communities to reframe and re-signify those objects of loss, towards transforming our relation to the economic and political?

Lost and Shared creates dialogue between theory and affective labour, through collective experiences that connect emotions, critical thinking, body and space. The intuitions and questions brought by conversations with Greek activists and artists are the core of the project. Later on, facing the impossibility of working as planned due to the pandemic, Lost and Shared was adapted to the new socializing conditions and to acknowledge how crisis and mourning had become a global concern. Thus, the project ends up proposing the idea of “fertilizing mourning” as a concept in the making - an open invitation to collectively create practices that help us reconsidering the entanglements between life, death, and regeneration. Urgent practices we need today in order to contest the increasing, global processes of loss caused by capitalism.

Please join us for the defense presentation.

Eliana Otta Vildoso is an artist with a Master in Cultural Studies by the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, and Candidate at the Phd in Practice Program, Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna. Her work creates spaces for conversation, trust and curiosity through shared intimacy, with projects that involve critical thinking, relational experiences, pedagogical, curatorial and editorial work. She has exhibited her work and participated in residencies in South Korea, UK, US, Spain, Colombia, Argentina, Greece, Austria, Croacia, Peru, Brasil, among other places. Her project Virtual Sanctuary for Fertilizing Mourning was chosen in 2021 as one of the Seven Prototypes for Eco-Social Renewal by Driving the Human, Germany.

She co-founded the independent art space Bisagra in Lima, the collective Mouries in Athens and coordinated the Curatorial Team for the permanent exhibition at Lugar de la Memoria in Lima, Perú. She has taught in the Art Faculty, Universidad Católica del Perú and in Corriente Alterna, Lima.




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