Kara’s Intellectual Profile

1. Give some basic information about your studies and fields of interest.

I am currently a senior majoring in art history and anthropology.  I will not be graduating until December 2012 as I am also working on a Peace and Conflict Studies certificate and an honors thesis.  I studied abroad in Lima, Peru for the academic year 2010-2011.  I have to say that this was the defining moment in my academic career and can’t describe how that year changed my life.  I was inspired during my time in South America by their rich contemporary art and am now writing an honors thesis on protest graffiti in Santiago, Chile.  I hope to eventually work for a NGO in community development or mediation, potentially focusing on art and social change.

2. Describe an exhibition that you liked or found impressive. Tell us why. Please provide a link to a website if possible.

While in Buenos Aires I went to the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA) and saw a fantastic exhibition Contemporaneo 27 (in Spanish) by Cristina Piffer.  The artist used animal products from the large cattle industry in Argentina to represent the brutality and bloodshed that had occurred throughout the nineteenth century.  The piece was repulsive, yet aesthetically appealing, as she created a tiled floor with slabs of steak and fat in resin, and dried blood to print images.

3. Which books did you read of late (art, fiction, non-fiction)? Pick one and go into detail about it.

I am currently reading Ricardo Bolano’s 2666. Bolano, a Chilean writer, discusses the issue the mass murders of 300 women in Juarez, Mexico.  As young women have moved to Juarez seeking NAFTA produced employment, femicide has become rampant.  Bolano seeks to address this issue, although in an extremely long, semi-baroque style novel.

4. What are your main interests beside art?

I love to salsa dance, something I started in Boulder and continued while in Peru.  I also enjoy hiking, reading, and skiing.

5. Which blogs do you check regularly?

The two blogs I follow religiously is Mike Allen’s Playbook, my daily dose of politics and my friend Catie’s blog detailing her Peace Corps stint in Rwanda.  I also read the New York Times consistently as well as the Daily Beast.   

6. Which cultural event has really impressed you lately? This can be a museum, a concert, or anything like that, but also a sports game (if you consider this a cultural event for which there are good reasons). Or anything I am not even thinking of … Again, tell us why.

Although not exactly a “cultural” event, the implementation of the National Defense Authorization Act has significantly impacted my views on politics.  Thie NDAA includes a number of provisions that violate our sixth amendment rights which originally prompted Obama to threaten a veto.  However after some revisions, Obama signed the act, giving the executive branch power to detain suspected terrorists indefinitely.  This act is a threat to the constitution and American values. It causes me to reevaluate my personal politics and look into alternative options in the 2012 elections.

7. Please describe briefly an article in a newspaper or a magazine that got you thinking lately. Reading online is fine, and what you introduce here does not have to be about art. If the respective article is available online, please link to it!

I was really caught off guard by Joseph E. Stiglitz’s “The Perils of 2012.”  Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate in economics, warns readers that this upcoming year the economic crisis will come to the point that we can longer just sit around and accept it.  He suggests that by addressing issues of long-term problems, such as global warming and increasing inequality, we could boost our economy.  However our government seems to be increasingly stubborn and unable to negotiate solutions which will only foster frustration and further issues in 2012.

8. Please share with us a thought or an idea that really widened your intellectual horizon. Again, this must not be limited to the visual arts. If possible, give a source for this idea so that others know where to go to if they are interested.

This past spring, I read Ayn Rand’s Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. Rand’s philosophical system, objectivism, broaden my horizons and influenced a stronger conviction in my own beliefs. As I strongly believe in the benefits of ethical altruism, her promotion of rational egoism disconcerted me significantly. However, I recommend to all altruists to read her books as they have become some of my favorites.

9. Have you been to the Denver Art Museum, MCA Denver and BMoca Boulder? Describe one art object or a show you remember seeing.

I have been to all three museums.  I particularly enjoy Sandy Skoglund’s Fox Games as well as BMOCA’s Urban Chicken Coup exhibit in Fall 2009.

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