This review was originally published at Ploughshares on 3/9/17
Here’s a challenge: tell me a story, without knowing the beginning, middle, or the end. Now, tell it in your second language, or one where the handful of words you know transforms you back into a child. No, let’s say you are a child. Let’s say this conversation will be recorded, and what you say—and how you say it—will determine where you are allowed to live. Let’s say you came alone.
This situation happens every day at the immigration courts in New York City, where novelist and essayist Valeria Luiselli volunteers as an interpreter. In her expanded essay Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions, Luiselli outlines the intake form for undocumented minors. The procedure, on paper, is simple: Luiselli presents the questions, the children speak, and Luiselli transcribes their answers in English for the lawyers who will fight to secure their legal status.
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This article was originally posted at artnet on 10.28.16
Michael Wellen has been tapped as the new curator of International Art at Tate, bringing a particular emphasis on fostering the representation of Latin American art both in Tate’s collection as well as its exhibition programming at Tate Modern. Wellen is slated to begin this December, Tate announced yesterday.
Wellen will be making the move to London from Texas, where he has been working in various curatorial positions and capacities for over 10 years. He spent the past five years as Assistant Curator of Latin American and Latino Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), working in collaboration with Mari Carmen Ramírez on exhibitions, acquisitions, research, and a variety of publications related to the MFAH Latin American Art Department.
Throughout his time at MFAH, Wellen co-curated numerous well-received exhibitions, including “Antonio Berni: Juanito and Ramona” (2013–2014), and “Contingent Beauty: Contemporary Art from Latin America” (2015–2016). Prior to his post in Houston, Wellen was in Austin for five years, working as researcher and writer with the Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas.
In addition to this, Wellen has also been a visiting lecturer at Rice University in Houston where he designed and taught the seminar Latin American Art and Film Since 1960.
Wellen earned his BA in History and Anthropology from Rutgers University, and holds an MA and PhD in Modern and Contemporary Art with a focus on Latin America, both from the University of Texas at Austin.