MOCRA Programs and Events

Saint Louis University Department of Fine and Performing Arts
Art History Program | Studio Art Program

and Saint Louis University's Museum of Contemporary Religious Art

present The Kristen Peterson Distinguished Lecture in Art and Art History

Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Cia Cara #1, 2008.


Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Cia Cará #1, 2008.
Large-format Polaroid.
24 x 20 in. Collection of MOCRA. 

Rituals and Spirituality
in the Performative Photographic Work of
Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons

Saturday, March 2, 2013    1:30 p.m.   
free and open to the public

held at Xavier Hall Theatre, 3733 West Pine Mall Blvd.
(directly across from MOCRA
reception with the artist to follow at MOCRA

Click here for a map and directions to special parking options for the lecture and reception.


Selected Works by 
Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons

A display of photographic works by Campos-Pons will be on view at MOCRA the day of the lecture and continuing through June 28, 2013.

Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons

Photo courtesy of the artist.

About the lecture 

Hailed as a leading artist of the Afro-Cuban diaspora, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons' work encompasses installation art, performative photography, painting and cultural activism, all of which, says art historian Lisa D. Freiman, is "predicated on the diasporic concepts of separation, fragmentation, and memory." Campos-Pons' work, while deeply personal, makes an immediate connection with viewers.

In her Peterson Lecture, Campos-Pons will discuss her exploration of themes of separation, fragmentation, and memory through multiple artistic disciplines, including her compelling photographic work that combines autobiography with performative ceremony.

She notes, “I am always in awe of the extent of mystery that is there present in our surroundings . . . I see myself not just as an artist but a healer a messenger dispensing small amulets of good energies to my viewers and centered by respect for all that is animated.”

About Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons 

Born in 1959 in Matanzas, Cuba, and trained in art in post-Revolutionary Cuba through the 1970s and 80s, Campos-Pons traveled to Boston in the 1980s to participate in a student exchange program at the Massachusetts College of Art. Campos-Pons has since exhibited globally at galleries, museums and venues such as the Johannesburg Biennial (1997), the Dak’Art Biennial in Dakar, Senegal (2004), and the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial in Japan (2002), the Guangzhou Triennial in China (2008), and the Venice Biennale (2001 and 2013).

A 20-year retrospective of Campos-Pons' work, Everything is Separated by Water: Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, opened at the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 2006 and traveled to the Bass Museum in Miami. Her work is found in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art (New York), The Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), the Polaroid Collection (Boston), The Fog Museum of Harvard University (Cambridge, MA), the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston),The Museum of Contemporary Art (Tokyo), the National Museum of Fine Arts (Havana), The Victoria and Albert Museum (London), and the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art (Saint Louis, MO).

She has received numerous fellowships and awards, including the Bunting Fellowship in Visual Arts at Harvard 1993 and the Rappaport Prize in 2007. She was celebrated with Boston’s Woman of Courage Award in 2011 and the Woman of Color Award in 2012, and named as one of upcoming young leaders of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by the Women's Chapter. Campos-Pons currently teaches at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Please note: You can watch the embedded video, or click the Vimeo link at lower right to see the full-size video.
Click here to visit the MOCRA Voices page for this video.

About the Kristen Peterson Distinguished Lecture in Art and Art History

The Kristen Peterson Endowment was established in 2009 for use by the Art and Art History Programs within the Fine and Performing Arts Department at Saint Louis University. Special programming in exhibitions, workshops and lectures featuring renowned artists and scholars in the field of photography and other disciplines of artistic study are offered through the generous support of the endowment.

About MOCRA Voices

MOCRA Voices is a series of conversations with thinkers and practitioners at the intersection of contemporary art, religion, and spirituality. Go in-depth with artists, scholars, theologians, religious leaders, and others who are engaged in the ongoing dialogue between visual art and the religious and spiritual dimensions. MOCRA Voices includes both podcasts available for streaming and download, and public lectures delivered at MOCRA. Learn more here.

MOCRA Voices logoMOCRA Voices is made possible through the financial support of the Regional Arts Commission.  Regional Arts Commission logo

More information

For additional information about Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, click here. 

For a map and directions to special parking options for the talk, click here. 


To learn more about Saint Louis University's Department of Fine and Performing Arts, click here.

To learn more about the MOCRA Voices podcast and lecture series, click here.
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