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The New School’s Vera List Center for Art and Politics (VLC) is pleased to announce the selection of five fellows for its 2022–24 Focus Theme Correction*: Carmen Amengual (Los Angeles), Anna Martine Whitehead (Chicago), Boris Lurie Fellow Omar Mismar (Beirut, Lebanon), and Borderlands Fellows Beatriz Cortez (Los Angeles), and Fox Maxy (San Diego).
Each fellowship project examines the risks and opportunities associated with the political, social, and metaphorical implications of “correction” in both form and substance. The Vera List Center’s interdisciplinary programs and network of associations provide research, production, and presentation support in addition to a 15,000 USD prize for each fellow. The fellows contribute to the intellectual underpinning of the VLC, which is currently in its 30th year, as well as the public’s awareness and involvement with creative practices and urgent concerns via the lens of rectification with their projects, which range from feature films to an opera.
Individuals who contribute to the conversation on art and politics are supported by the Vera List Center Fellowships. The fellowship was started in 1993, one year after the VLC was established, and since then, artists have been at the center of all center operations. The VLC launched two new fellowship programs for its 2020–22 fellowship cycle: the Boris Lurie Fellowship, funded by the Boris Lurie Art Foundation, and the Borderlands Fellowship, jointly directed by the Center for Imagination in the Borderlands at Arizona State University.
“This new cohort of groundbreaking artists and activists joins us at a transformational time in the center’s history—our 30th anniversary—inspiring us to course correct, follow them into new and diverse fields and geographies, and affirm the power of art in imagining and enacting radical and joyous futures,” said Carin Kuoni, Senior Director and Chief Curator of the Vera List Center for Art and Politics. “In doing so, they chart our course for the next two years and well beyond it.”
Meet the VLC Fellows!
Carmen Amengual, Los Angeles, 2022–24 VLC Fellow
The work of Argentine interdisciplinary artist Carmen Amengual explores the gaps between memory, biography, and history. In order to inform a Latin American audience about the anti-colonial battles in Africa, the organizers of the Third World Filmmakers Meeting (Algiers, 1973–Buenos Aires, 1974) attempted to use a failed documentary production. A Non-coincidental Mirror creates a memory for this forgotten event.
Beatriz Cortez, Los Angeles, 2022–24 Borderlands Fellow
The work of multidisciplinary artist Beatriz Cortez examines simultaneity, various temporalities, the improbable, and imaginative speculations about the future. The Tierra Blanca Joven, the layer of ash left behind by the Ilopango volcano eruption in the fifth century C.E., is regarded by Cortez’s VLC Fellowship project as sacred land with spiritual significance to people who have migrated and are still migrating from the Central American region to other territories.
Fox Maxy, San Diego, 2022–24 Borderlands Fellow
From San Diego, Fox Maxy works as both a director and an artist. Her debut feature film, Watertight, is a work of art that explores suicide, mental illness, and what causes harm and what causes healing. It is a hybrid documentary that combines narrative segments that act as bizarre commercial breaks with informal group interviews.
Omar Mismar, Beirut, 2022–24 Boris Lurie Fellow
Omar Mismar is a visual artist from Lebanon whose project-based work is conceptually and materially liberated. The Frown of Revolution is Gone Mad looks at the widespread Botox culture in Lebanon as a continuation of the war and as a result of living with ongoing violence. In a discourse on the sensual body and the anesthetization of the body politic, the project reframes fundamental concerns regarding the aesthetics of tragedy.
Anna Martine Whitehead, Chicago, 2022–24 VLC Fellow
Black queer temporalities are of interest to Chicago-based performer, artist, and writer Anna Martine Whitehead, who was raised in Virginia. An opera in three acts, FORCE! explores relationships and sisterhood that flourish in the shadow of prisons and the prison industrial complex. It is a world-building and Black femme story of inner lives and shared dreams.
For more information about each fellow, visit veralistcenter.org.