The Aesthetics of Extraction, or Colour Pigments Extinct

Conference

Thursday, February 8, 2024

6:30 pm

We are living through a transitional historical period in which the consequences of a deteriorating environment, and human extinction as its possible outcome, is perhaps its defining infrastructure. Max de Esteban will introduce, in the context of his work, to what a contemporary definition of infrastructures might be. From that premise he will revisit materiality and change, the two cornerstones for archaeology to exist, and will discuss the contemporary technological gaze, arguably the driver of a revolution that is leading to the end of the world as we know it. In this lecture, Max de Esteban will present art works, exhibition projects and films addressing the aesthetics of extraction/extinction, the relation between materiality and change, the archaeology of the technical gaze and a work on extinct color pigments. The imminence of extinction of both living beings as well as natural resources, and inorganic matter has aesthetic and artistic consequences, among them the disappearance of colour. But Galileo Galilei told us that colours are nothing but names. Might their names survive?

Max de Esteban is an artist working mostly in photography and video. His work is best known for his examination of the human condition under a technological regime. His projects have been exhibited at museums and institutions such as Jeu de Paume in Paris, MUAC in Mexico, NRW-Forum in Dusseldorf, Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Deutsche Technik Museum in Berlin, Virreina Centre de l’Image in Barcelona, CGAC in Santiago de Compostela and Palais de Tokyo in Paris. Max participated in the Yokohama Triennale (2020); XIII Cairo Biennial (2019); XIII Bienal de la Habana (2019); XVI Fotofest Biennial (2016) and Darmstädter TdF Triennial (2014). His work has been the subject of five monographs: Estética de la Extinción (Turner); Twenty Red Lights(Virreina/ La Fábrica); Propositions (La Fábrica); Heads will Roll (Hatje Cantz)and Elegies of Manumission (Nazraeli Press) and is part of museums’ collections such as Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, SEDF inBratislava, Deutsche Technik Museum in Berlin, CGAC in Santiago de Compostela, Wifredo Lam in La Habana and MACBA in Barcelona.

Max is a Fulbright alumnus and received a PhD in Economics andBusiness from Universitat Ramon Lull, an MBA from Stanford University and a MSc and BSc in Engineering from Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya.

This event is part of the
The Event of Archaeology
.

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