• A Non-Coincidental Mirror
    Carmen Amengual
    Eriola Pira and Vera Steinberg
    Smack Mellon and Vera List Center for Arts and Politics, New York
    Dec 07, 2024 to Feb 02, 2025
    Carmen Amengual

Carmen Amengual, “A Non-Coincidental Mirror,” 2023. Film still. Courtesy the artist

A film installation centered around artist Carmen Amengual’s investigations on the first Third World Filmmakers Meeting, held in Algiers in December 1973, and the second iteration of the meeting in Buenos Aires in May 1974. The installation examines the role of architecture and cinema within the context of “third-world” solidarity, exploring the networks of exchange and collective knowledge production among the Global South as they articulated in the events. This is the result of a two-year-long project that took the artist to Buenos Aires, Algiers, and Paris to research the locations and film the buildings and urban spaces where these events took place. Using architecture as an entry point to the utopian horizons of the past, and to the ruinification of these in the present, the film installation intertwines three storylines: an inquiry on political cinema and its methodologies as they manifested in the filmmakers’ conference; a question about the role of architecture and the decolonial project—reflecting on some of the architectural projects in Algiers and the struggle to decolonize architecture education at the University of Buenos Aires; and a question about the present, as it emerges from the filmic portraits of buildings and urban infrastructure that the artist conducted during her research trips.

Carmen Amengual is an Argentinian artist based in Los Angeles. Her projects encompass research, film, sculpture, sound, text, and installation to examine the emergence of collective imaginaries, identity formations, and conceptions of history that determine the political imagination. She has exhibited at Artists Space, New York; Table, Chicago; Human Resources, Echo Park Film Center, and E.D. Freeman Gallery, Los Angeles; Biquini Wax, Mexico City; and Museo Trabucco, Buenos Aires. She was assistant curator at the Gallery at REDCAT in Los Angeles, and research fellow and assistant curator for the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA project, The Words of Others: León Ferrari and Rhetoric in Times of War. Amengual was a Whitney Museum Independent Study Program Fellow in 2021–22, and is a 2022–24 Vera List Center for Arts and Politics Fellow, and a 2024 Creative Capital Awardee. She graduated in comparative literature at the University of Buenos Aires and holds an MFA from California Institute of the Arts.