Thinking with the work of Oakland‐based artist Xandra Ibarra, this essay engages the object lessons accessed through analysis of the artist's oeuvre. Dwelling specifically with the objects Ibarra gathers and thinking askance to new materialist approaches when theorizing the social life of objects, Alvarado explores the racial vespers that suffuse objects, their presentation and exchange, as well as our interpretation of relations of exchange. Alongside Ibarra's theorization of “things” as published in her art lexicon guide, this essay additionally considers the elevation of proper feminist and ethnic/racialized objects and subjects in art markets and social justice spaces, their circulation as “things,” and Ibarra's exhaustion in the face of this process. Ultimately this essay takes up Ibarra's own engagement with the proper objects of Latinx art and women of color feminisms and her awareness of herself as a bad object for funding, presentation, and favored kinds of political work.
To Have and to Hoard: Xandra Ibarra's Object Lessons
Leticia Alvarado is Associate Professor of American Studies at Brown University. She is the author of Abject Performances: Aesthetic Strategies in Latino Cultural Production (2018). Her current book project, Cut/Hoard/Suture: Aesthetics in Relation, has been supported by The Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant and the American Association of University Women.
Leticia Alvarado; To Have and to Hoard: Xandra Ibarra's Object Lessons. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 July 2023; 122 (3): 525–547. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-10644015
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