Canceled: Curator Talk: "Ornament & Abolition," with Althea Wasow

EVENT UPDATE: This event has been cancelled (rev. by CEMO 5/21/24)

Althea Wasow, curator of the film series Ornament and Abolition, presents a curatorial talk.


  • EVENT UPDATE: This event has been cancelled


  • Free parking 
  • Accessible parking on High Rd


This film series takes controversial Viennese architect and cultural theorist Adolf Loos’s 1908 lecture/essay “Ornament and Crime” as a departure point to explore the relationship between ornament and abolition in moving image practice. Loos connects ornamentation with the criminal, the degenerate, the childish, the culturally backward, the racially other, and the morbid. He rails against the “slavery” of ornamentation and the “ornament plague.” “Lack of ornament,” he contends, signifies modernity, efficiency, health, and intellectual superiority. Ornament and Abolition assembles a wide range of works. They foreground the radical potential of the ornamental, challenge the ways in which race-ornament-criminality have been linked, and underscore the ongoing importance of questions of film form and abolition. Artists reclaim ornament, interrogate the historical role of ornament in racialization and the production of deviance, and forge critical aesthetic experiments beyond ornament. The film series will be continuously looped and available for viewing in the Institute of Arts and Sciences reception area during regular opening hours between May 14 and May 26, 2024.


image credit: Still, Paris is Burning (1990).

Tuesday, May 21 at 6:00pm to 7:30pm

Institute of the Arts and Sciences (IAS) IAS Galleries—100 Panetta Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

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