Curating Disability

Amanda Cachia, art curator

Presented with the Sydney College of the Arts, the University of Sydney

10 September

Amanda Cachia will present a lecture regarding the challenges of curating exhibitions that explore disability as its central theme. Cachia will begin the presentation with a brief overview of her previously curated exhibitions held in the USA, based on various aspects of disability empowerment, such as Medusa’s Mirror: Fears, Spells & Other Transfixed Positions for Pro Arts Gallery in Oakland, California (2011) and What Can a Body Do? for Haverford College, Pennsylvania (2012). Central to both these exhibitions was Cachia’s attention to elements of access, discursive programming and conversations with artists on the nature of disability itself.

Questions Cachia will explore include, what are the ethical and practical responsibilities for curators in thinking about exhibits that offer disability as a central subject matter? How can access become a dynamic conceptual tool for interrogation in art exhibitions? What kinds of hurdles must a curator negotiate when dealing with artists who are ambivalent about their relationship to disability and participating in a disability exhibit? Cachia will offer the outcomes from her disability-themed projects, including their successes and failures, and how these experiences will inform her upcoming exhibitions, Cripping Cyberspace: A Contemporary Virtual Art Exhibition (2013) in conjunction with the Common Pulse Intersecting Abilities Art Festival and Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, and LOUD silence, to be hosted by Grand Central Art Center at California State University in Santa Ana (2014).

To learn more about Cachia, please visit her website

The website for What Can a Body Do? can also be found here.

Amanda Cachia

Amanda Cachia is an independent curator from Sydney, Australia and is currently completing her PhD in Art History, Theory & Criticism at the University of California, San Diego. Her dissertation will focus on the intersection of disability and contemporary art. Cachia completed her second Masters degree in Visual & Critical Studies at the California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco in 2012 and received her first Masters in Creative Curating from Goldsmiths College, University of London in 2001. She held the position Director/Curator of the Dunlop Art Gallery in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada from 2007-2010, and has curated approximately 30 exhibitions over the last ten years in various cities across the US, the UK, Australia and Canada. Her writing has been published in numerous exhibition catalogues, Canadian Art, and Disability Studies Quarterly and she has lectured and participated in panels at conferences widely. Cachia has been the Chair of the Dwarf Artists Coalition for the Little People of America since 2007.