Sabotage: (Self-)Destructive Practices in Latin American Contemporary Art

Sabotage: (Self-)Destructive Practices in Latin American Contemporary Art

Friday 26th April 2013, 09.00 - 18.30

Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre, UCL, London

This symposium is organised with generous support from UCL Centre for the Study of Contemporary Art and Rainhart Gallery.

To sabotage is to disrupt a dynamic, to purposefully or unconsciously ruin or fail a system.  Once primarily a worker’s strategy, sabotage has become a recurring artistic practice in contemporary art and one partaking in the ‘reflexive turn’ of late modernity’s aesthetic practices. From the 1960s onwards, the aesthetic notion of sabotage has been notoriously present in Latin American art as a central mechanism of resistance against censorship and a cultural practice confronting state violence, heterosexual normativity, and neoliberalism.

This one-day symposium invites researchers and graduate students to examine the uses - and limitations - of sabotage in Latin American contemporary art and attempts to place the notion within a larger reflection on the politics of the image, the aesthetics of violence, the tensions between art and spectacle and the position and responsibility of the artist in the face of political turmoil or systemic injustice.

Programme for the day (pdf)

Abstracts (pdf)

For more information, contact Sophie Halart
( and Mara Polgovsky (