Skip to content Skip to footer

Astrup Fearnley Museet presents symposium Lilia Prado is a Superstar

October 21–22, 2022

Friday, October 21, 7:30–9:15pm
Saturday, October 22, 9:30am–7:30pm

The conference Lilia Prado is a Superstar is structured as a commemorative act that compares the years 2022 and 1972, which may or may not be connected in any way. The time between them represents the transition from a Norwegian court decriminalizing a sexual act between two men to Norway celebrating LGBT culture for a whole year. The event raises a number of questions regarding how we are creating, performing, and writing queer histories—as well as the actual, hypothetical, fictitious, found, and imagined iconographies and genealogies that inform them.

Ulises Carrión, a Mexican-Dutch artist, editor, and curator, staged a film festival in Lilia Prado’s honor in 1984 at Amsterdam’s De Appel arts center. Prado, a Marilyn Monroe icon before it was cool, rose to fame as one of the greatest stars of Mexican cinema’s Golden Age in the 1940s. However, by the 1980s, the fame had subsided and hardly nobody in Amsterdam had even heard of her.

In quest of his starlet and her flicks, Carrión traveled to Mexico. In the middle of the summer, several Dutch cities hosted the Lilia Prado Superstar Film Festival. Carrión employed the documentary style to describe the less-than-smooth organization of the event in his 1985 video work The LPS File. Truth and evidence are elusive in the movie, similar to how Carrión used gossip and rumor as artistic strategies in other of his works. This is because the artist replaced all of his contacts in the Mexican art world with friends and contacts in the Dutch art world, and because the language of communication changed from Spanish to English.

Carrión’s Lilia Prado is a heterogenous figure, at once a celebrated icon, a displaced celebrity, a porous memento, and, most importantly, a site of projection for parafictional and speculative queer desires. A found icon in an unstable queer genealogy. Carrión said: “Don’t you think that my gesture, my choice of Lilia Prado, is just as arbitrary as [Marcel] Duchamp’s gesture?… Lilia Prado is my readymade.”

Lilia Prado is a superstar.

The case of Lilia Prado raises questions about state-sanctioned narratives about the legitimacy or otherwise of sexuality, linear time, and history with two n’s. This historiographic intervention—this symposium on how we might manufacture icons, make time, and write stories that are completely untrue and undeniably true—will be guided by Carrión’s Prado.

Organized by: Hendrik Folkerts (Curator of International Contemporary Art and Head of Exhibitions, Moderna Museet, Stockholm) and Solveig Øvstebø (Director Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo).


Friday, October 21, 2022
Welcome by Solveig Øvstebø (Director, Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo) and Hendrik Folkerts (Curator of International Contemporary Art and Head of Exhibitions, Moderna Museet, Stockholm)

New York Jew Pinko Queer (with AIDS)—performance by Gregg Bordowitz (writer, artist, and activist, New York, USA), with Ida Løvli Hidle on accordion and Andreas Røysum on clarinet

Saturday, October 22, 2022:
Welcome by Solveig Øvstebø and Introduction by Hendrik Folkerts

Against Queer Monumentalism: Diary from Queer Cultural Year—Lecture by Mathias Danbolt (Professor of Art History at University of Copenhagen, Denmark)

Never Knowing Ulises, or What it means to be a star?—Lecture by Arnisa Zeqo (curator and writer, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

11:15–11:30am: Short break

Museum Fictions, A performative unfolding of a manifesto ~ queer methodology ~ machine of otherness ready to pickle with fiction the paradigmatic gap between the frozen ~ the fluid hot ~ the knowledge of The Museum—by KILOBASE BUCHAREST (curatorial collective with Dragos Olea and Sandra Demetrescu, Bucharest, Romania)

12–1:30pm Break

Karen Carpenter Was a Superstar Too: Todd Haynes, Erotohistoriography, and the Anti-Readymade—Key-note lecture and film screening by Elizabeth Freeman (Professor of English, University of California, Davis, USA)

3:30–4:15pm: Coffee break

Performance by Abdellah Taïa (writer, Paris, France)

5–5:15pm: Short break

Found Objects—A conversation with Christian Bendayán (artist, Lima, Peru), D. Harding (artist, Brisbane, Australia), Sam Hultin (artist, Stockholm, Sweden), and Timimie Märak (artist and poet, Stockholm, Sweden), moderated by Hendrik Folkerts

Epilogue: Timimie Märak

Astrup Fearnley Museet
Strandpromenaden 2
0252 Oslo
Hours: Tuesday–Friday 12–5pm,
Thursday 12–7pm,
Saturday–Sunday 11am–5pm

T +47 22 93 60 60
[email protected]
Instagram / YouTube