Amanda Cachia: Contemporary Disability Art: Access Aesthetics and Institutional Critique


Online lecture
Thursday, 13 July 2023, 6 pm


The title and subject of this talk are based on Amanda Cachia’s new monograph, currently under review. The lecture illustrates how contemporary disabled artists are moving away from representations of disability, instead creating an art of access, or access aesthetics, through artworks that centre translation, sensory expansion, touch, and movement for audiences that offer an experience of “being with” disability.

By making inequities in the museum more transparent, artists also engage in institutional critique, demanding agency, voice, empowerment, and social justice. The institutional critique work by contemporary disabled artists who deploy variable disability topoi, including deafness, blindness, dwarfism, mobility, and autism, make audiences more sensitive to ways in which bodies take in information and process stimuli.

On a broader level, contemporary disability art extends and repurposes art historical precedents in directions that compel us to regard the artistic past differently.

Amanda CachiaAmanda Cachia has an established career profile as a curator, writer, and art historian specialising in disability art activism across intersectional axes of difference, including gender, race, and sexuality. She is the incoming Assistant Professor and Assistant Program Director of Arts Leadership at the Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts at the University of Houston, where she will also serve the Certificate in Museum and Gallery Management and the Certificate in Arts and Health. Cachia is the editor of Curating Access: Disability Art Activism and Creative Accommodation (2022), published by Routledge, which includes over 40 international contributors. She has a PhD in Art History, Theory & Criticism from the University of California San Diego. Cachia has curated approximately 50 exhibitions, many of which have travelled to cities across the USA, England, Australia and Canada. (Photo: personal archive)


The lecture will be in English, accompanied by an interpreter for Slovenian sign language and equipped with English subtitles.

Free of charge.

The lecture will take place via Zoom, registration at:

Image description: Cover image is a photo of a large barn-like space with sky-light windows filling the space with light and shadows cast by rows of painted steel stanchions assembled across wood floors in meditative beauty.

Image description: A portrait of a white woman with medium-length brown curly hair, brown eyes and a smile. She wears a white blouse, blue jacket and colorful scarf. She is standing in front of a public art work made of vibrant red steel in organic abstract shapes and swirls.

Both image descriptions were prepared by Amanda Cachia.

The lecture is part of the accompanying events of the exhibition Sick at Škuc Gallery (21 June – 18 July 2023). More about the exhibition.

Organisers: World of Art/SCCA-LjubljanaŠkuc Gallery
The World of Art school programme is created in partnership with Cukrarna/MGML.
Partners: Inter-Municipal Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired Nova GoricaRiso ParadisoDruga violina
Sponsor: DIOPTA, d. o. o., Ljubljana
Supported by: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, City Municipality of Ljubljana – Department of Culture, ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen)



Cover image: Corban Walker, Short Minute Matter, 2015, Atelier Calder Residency, France

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