Talks & Conversations 2023


Artists, curators, scholars, and others share their insights on BAMPFA exhibitions, the arts, and other cultural topics.

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  • Amalia Mesa-Bains

  • Upcoming
  • Past
  • Past

Past Events

  • Wednesday, December 13, 5 PM

    Artist’s Talk and Conversation: Sin Wai Kin and Victoria Sung on MATRIX 284 / Sin Wai Kin: The Story Changing

    Artist Sin Wai Kin and Phyllis C. Wattis Senior Curator Victoria Sung discuss the influence of science and speculative fiction, drag and theatrical performance, in Sin's elaborately constructed moving image works.

  • Wednesday, December 13, 6 PM

    Artist’s Talk and Conversation: Gabriel Chaile and Margot Norton on MATRIX 283 / Gabriel Chaile

    Artist Gabriel Chaile and BAMPFA Chief Curator Margot Norton discuss the relationships between history, personal memory, intimacy, and monumentality in Chaile’s soaring earth-cladded sculptures.

  • Thursday, December 7, 4 PM–7 PM

    Five Tables of Art & Climate Change

    What can art, architecture, design, and performance practices offer to current debates on climate change and environmental justice? This Five Tables presentation highlights artworks in the BAMPFA collection that reflect, mediate, and delve into the interconnected ecologies of life.

  • Friday, December 1, 6:30 PM

    Berkeleyside Idea Makers: Place & Relationship to Space in a Changing City

    BAMPFA is delighted to continue our partnership with Berkeleyside on the Idea Makers series, which celebrates Berkeley’s stature in the world of ideas through unscripted, informative, and thought-provoking conversations.

    Presented by Berkeleyside in partnership with BAMPFA

  • Sunday, November 19, 3 PM

    Artists’ Talk: Ester Hernandez & Catherine Wagner

    UC Berkeley graduate Ester Hernández talks about her screen prints Sun Mad II and Sun Raid II, which address issues of migration and the overuse of pesticides and their impact on farmworkers, consumers, and the environment. Catherine Wagner discusses her work The Arctic Circle IV, part of a photographic trilogy in three distinct areas: scientific machines (Frankenstein), the Arctic Circle, and the history of science.

  • Sunday, October 15, 3 PM

    Artists’ Talk: Tabitha Soren & Lava Thomas

    Tabitha Soren talks about, part of a project entitled Surface Tension. With an 8x10 camera, Soren shoots photographs of fingerprints on technological devices, placing in sharp focus what we normally try to look past on our screens. Lava Thomas discusses Ms. Jimmie L. Lowe, a life-size drawing based on a police photograph that is one of a dozen in the artist’s series of portraits honoring Black women who played a leadership role in the 1955–56 Montgomery Bus Boycott and were indicted under Alabama’s anti-boycott laws.

  • Eleven poles extending from separate points on a white wall are joined together at opposite ends to form a cone shape. A large semi-circular piece of brown cloth hangs from the joined poles and gathers on the floor.
    Saturday, October 7, 2 PM; Wednesday, October 11, 12:15 PM

    Curator’s Walk-Through: Victoria Sung on Duane Linklater: mymothersside

    Join Phyllis C. Wattis Senior Curator Victoria Sung for a guided tour of Duane Linklater: mymothersside to learn about the artist’s multifaceted process of research and making, from 3D printing to using natural dyes like blueberry extract, dandelion, and charcoal.

  • Sunday, September 24, 2 PM

    Ai Weiwei’s World of Art Lost and Found: A Conversation About Life, Art, and Politics : Ai Weiwei with Peter Sellars and Orville Schell

    Returning to the UC Berkeley campus for the first time in fifteen years, renowned artist and human rights activist Ai Weiwei discusses art, politics, and modern life in a conversation with stage and film director Peter Sellars and Orville Schell, director of the Center on US-China Relations at the Asia Society.

    Off-site Program; Copresented by Cal Performances, BAMPFA, and the Townsend Center for the Humanities.

  • Sunday, September 17, 3 PM

    Artists’ Talk: Masako Miki & Stephanie Syjuco

    Berkeley-based Japanese artist Masako Miki discusses Ichiren-bozu (Animated prayer beads blue), a new work in BAMPFA’s collection that reflects her interest in reclaiming the power of myth making. Artist and UC Berkeley professor Stephanie Syjuco talks about her Raiders (Selections from the Asian Art Museum), a collection of flat, laser-cut, life-size images of antique Asian vessels downloaded from the Asian Art Museum’s online databases and adhered to wooden backings, investigating how we participate in the construction of culture.

  • Thursday, September 7, 12 PM

    Curator’s Talk: Anthony Graham on What Has Been and What Could Be: The BAMPFA Collection

    BAMPFA Senior Curator Anthony Graham discusses selected works from each thematic section of What Has Been and What Could Be, highlighting artists with ongoing relationships to BAMPFA, the UC Berkeley campus, and the Bay Area.

  • Thursday, September 7, 6:30 PM

    California Live! in partnership with BAMPFA presents Alex Filippenko on Life, the Universe, and Everything

    Join Alex Filippenko, UC Berkeley Richard & Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor in the Physical Sciences, for a wide-ranging conversation with California magazine’s editor-in-chief, Pat Joseph, as they explore such topics as the startling new images from the James Webb Space Telescope, the Great North American Eclipse of 2024, and the abiding mysteries of dark energy.

  • Thursday, August 31, 6 PM

    Artist's Talk and Conversation: Griselda Rosas and Anthony Graham on MATRIX 282 / Griselda Rosas: Yo te cuido

    Based in San Diego and Tijuana, Griselda Rosas reflects on the complex histories of the US-Mexico border to explore themes of inheritance and intergenerational knowledge in her art. Rosas and Senior Curator Anthony Graham, who organized the exhibition, discuss the interconnections between her works in various media, from her densely layered textiles to her spatially dynamic sculptural installations.

  • Sunday, June 11, 2 PM

    Julie Rodrigues Widholm on What Has Been and What Could Be: The BAMPFA Collection

    BAMPFA Executive Director Julie Rodrigues Widholm, who organized What Has Been and What Could Be, offers a curatorial walkthrough of her new collection-based exhibition, addressing selected works from each thematic section, as well as sharing perspectives on curating from the museum’s collection.

  • Friday, May 19, 6:30 PM

    Berkeleyside Idea Makers: Mindy Seu, Lauren Schiller, and Hadley Dynak

    BAMPFA is proud to partner with our friends at Berkeleyside on Berkeleyside Idea Makers, a quarterly celebration of Berkeley’s stature in the world of ideas through unscripted, informative, and thought-provoking conversations. This program explores the frontiers of feminism today with designer and technologist Mindy Seu, podcaster Lauren Schiller, and activist Hadley Dynak. 

    Presented by Berkeleyside in partnership with BAMPFA

  • Friday, May 12, 5:30 PM

    MFA Artists’ Talk

    Meet the 2023 graduates of UC Berkeley’s MFA program as they talk about their recent work at the outset of BAMPFA’s fifty-third annual MFA exhibition. This year’s artists are Irma Barbosa, Gericault De La Rose, Eniola Fakile, Juniper Harrower, Fei Pan, Tiare Ribeaux, and Samuel Wildman.

  • Sunday, April 30, 12 PM

    Lijin Lecture: Tsherin Sherpa on Art from the Himalayas: Past into Present, followed by Above and Below, a documentary by Sheri Brenner

    Noted Tibetan artist Tsherin Sherpa presents BAMPFA’s 2023 endowed Lijin Lecture in conjunction with the exhibition Endless Knot: Struggle and Healing in the Buddhist World. He focuses on present-day Himalayan art and its connections with traditional arts. Followed by Above and Below, a documentary by Sheri Brenner about Sherpa's life and career.

  • Sunday, April 16, 3 PM

    Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby and Vanessa Jackson on Alexandre Dumas’s Afro: Blackness Caricatured, Erased, and Back Again

    Cocurators of Alexandre Dumas’s Afro, Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby and Vanessa Jackson, introduce the exhibition, which examines caricature, race, and the infantilization of Alexandre Dumas, the prolific author of The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo, among many other books. Why, they ask, is Dumas’s work so often celebrated in films, comics, and children’s books yet ignored by scholars?

  • Sunday, March 19, 1 PM

    Artist's Talk: Amalia Mesa-Bains

    Join us for an engaging, illustrated talk by Amalia Mesa-Bains as she illuminates the sources and stories behind her wide-ranging multimedia practice.

  • Thursday, March 9, 4 PM

    ONLINE | Luis Camnitzer: The Ephemeral and the Permanent: Questioning Public Art

    Complementing his new Art Wall project below/here/above/ahead/was, New York–based Uruguayan artist Luis Camnitzer offers a presentation designed to provoke thought and prompt questions about public art.

    This event will be presented as a Zoom webinar.

  • Saturday, February 18, 1 PM

    In Conversation with Amalia Mesa-Bains

    Amalia Mesa-Bains’s artworks, spanning a range of formats and media, resonate in contemporary formal terms and in their ties to her Chicana/o community and history. Scholars Jennifer González and Adriana Zavala and artist Sandy Rodriguez join Mesa-Bains for an expanded conversation in response to these themes and other ideas in her work.

  • Sunday, February 12,12 PM

    Curator's Talk: Karen Moss on by Alison Knowles: A Retrospective (1960-2022)

    Join Karen Moss, guest curator of by Alison Knowles, for a special Curator's Talk marking the closing day of by Alison Knowles. Art historians and catalogue essayists Lucia Fabio, Hannah Higgins and Nicole Woods will also participate.

  • Saturday, February 4, 3 PM

    Curators’ Talk: María Esther Fernández and Laura Pérez on Amalia Mesa-Bains: Archaeology of Memory

    Join cocurators María Esther Fernández and Laura Pérez—who organized this major retrospective exhibition of the work of renowned artist, scholar, and curator Amalia Mesa-Bains—for an insightful talk about the artist’s work in BAMPFA’s galleries.

  • Saturday, January 28, 1:30 PM

    Lecture: Lawrence Rinder on Rina Kimche

    This event is copresented by The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life.

  • Wednesday, January 25, 5:30 PM

    Curators’ Talk: Vincent Fecteau and Keith Wilson on Frank Moore / MATRIX 280: Theater of Human Melting

    Artists and guest cocurators of Frank Moore / MATRIX 280, Vincent Fecteau and Keith Wilson discuss the role of Moore’s painting within his expansive body of creative, spiritual, and performance work.

  • Sundays, January 15, April 9, May 7 & Friday, February 24

    Curator’s Talk: Yi Yi Mon (Rosaline) Kyo on Endless Knot: Struggle and Healing in the Buddhist World

    Guest curator Yi Yi Mon (Rosaline) Kyo offers a series of gallery talks highlighting works by contemporary Asian and Asian American artists.