En un cuartito los dos: Spanish artista Niño de Elche at The Graduate Center

Daniel Valtueña
The Graduate Center, CUNY


En un cuartito los dos is a curatorial project that brought Spanish performer Niño de Elche to the space of the James Gallery at The Graduate Center. Conceived as a short artist residency, Niño de Elche spent a few days in the gallery –from April 29 until May 3– exploring the curatorial and spatial implications of the space in order to articulate innovative venues for the public to gather.

The notion surrounding the Spanish term cuarto –partially translated for “room” in English– was the main premise for this project. The cuartos flamencos used to be marginalized performing spaces where dissident bodies and practices used to take place in fin-de-siècle Spain. Related spaces such as cafés cantantes contributed to articulate traditional imaginaries on Iberian culture which ignored the individuals who inhabited them. Niño de Elche aimed to explore the non-normative practices spaces censor by working on sound experimentation and performative actions in the gallery space. By calling on other cuartos such as black holes and dark rooms he explored notions such as tradition, intimacy, and queerness.

This project started to be formulated in the frame of the graduate seminar Curatorial Practicum: Exhibitions, Research, and Publics in the Spring 2018 semester and was curated by LAILAC PhD student Daniel Valtueña. Apart from the artistic residency featuring Niño de Elche, two events took place: a round-table discussion under the title Towards a Desanctification of the Gallery Space featuring curator Regine Basha, architect Lluís Alexandre Casanovas Blanco, and artist Niño de Elche and a public intervention by Niño de Elche after his time at The Graduate Center.

Co-sponsored by the James Gallery; Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Cultures Department; Theatre and Performance Department; Lucille Lortel Chair; the Doctoral Students’ Council; and The Foundation for Iberian Music.


Special thanks to Regine Basha, Lluís Alexandre Casanovas Blanco, Professor Fernando Degiovanni, Lina Garcia, Yezenit Barreto, Professor Jean Graham-Jones, Professor Peter Eckersall, Alex Viteri Arturo, Cory Tamler, Mara Valderrama, Meira Goldberg, Antoni Pizà, Greg Melnick, Hanaah Frechette, Jay Loomis, the Center for the Humanities, Sam Starkweather, the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, Frank Hentschker, Michael Locicero, the Doctoral Students’ Council, Chris Lowery, Kirsten Hill, Stephanie Hackett, Debra Lennard, Lauren Rosenblaum, Rachel Valinsky, Cristina Ramírez López and to all LAILAC PhD students, especially Ana Sánchez Acevedo, Anthony J. Harb, Tania Avilés, Lara Alonso, Pedro Cabello del Moral, Cristina Elena Pardo, Huber Jaramillo, and Lorena Paz López.


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