I am pleased to announce that Alex Ungprateeb Flynn has joined the faculty of UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance, effective this Winter Quarter.
Alex is an anthropologist and curator whose practice explores the intersection of ethnographic and curatorial modes of inquiry. Working with social movements and contemporary art practitioners, Alex’s research investigates the prefigurative potential of art in community contexts.
Committed to collaborative research, Alex has conducted fieldwork in Brazil since 2007 with the Landless Workers’ Movement and more recently in Mexico and Argentina with cartonera publishing. This work has resulted in exhibitions and public programs in Paris (“Concrete Mirror,” with the artist Noara Quintana) and São Paulo (“Releituras,” with the curator Beatriz Lemos).
In 2015-16, Alex worked as co-curator of the Residência Artística Cambridge, an artistic residency program based within an occupied building in downtown São Paulo. This 15-month project, organised in conjunction with the Movement for the Homeless of the Centre (MSTC), placed the occupation at the heart of São Paulo’s contested politics regarding homelessness, the role of art, and the rise of populism. For this project, he received the São Paulo Association of Art Critics 2016 APCA Trophy.
Alex has taught at Durham University and University College London and held research positions at the EHESS, Paris, Universidade de São Paulo and the Iberoamerikanische Institut, Berlin. His scholarship has been recognized with British Academy and Arts and Humanities Research Council fellowships, and a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Cambridge among other awards.
His publications include “Anthropology, theatre and development: The transformative potential of performance” (2015), “The curator, the anthropologist: ‘presentialism’ and open-ended enquiry in process” (2019) and “Returning to Form: Anthropology, Art and a Trans-Formal Methodological Approach” (2019).
Alex also coordinates FORM*AT, a platform that explores how artistic approaches can prompt a reconceptualization of anthropological theory and practice.
This spring, Alex will teach Critical Ethnographies for undergraduates, and Research Methods for PhD students, while continuing his own research and creative practice. In future years, Alex will teach a variety of curatorial topics, among many other courses.
“Art for me is about re-thinking relations together,” Alex shared. “In these times of pandemic, the importance of being face-to-face has never been clearer. I’m delighted to join UCLA and over the coming years I hope that this role will spark new proposals and collaborations.”
Please join me in welcoming Alex to the UCLA Arts community.
Brett Steele | Dean
UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture