Northwestern University: Artist Talk: Nao Bustamante

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Northwestern University – Krause Studio
Annie May Swift Hall
1920 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL
Wed. March 2nd at 12:00 pm


Nao Bustamante is an internationally known artist, and vice dean of art at the University of Southern California’s Roski School of Art and Design. Bustamante’s precarious work encompasses performance art, video installation, visual art, filmmaking, and writing. The New York Times says, “She has a knack for using her body.” Bustamante has presented in Galleries, Museums, Universities and underground sites all around the world. She has exhibited, among other locales, at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, the New York Museum of Modern Art, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Sundance International Film Festival, Outfest International Film Festival, El Museo del Barrio Museum of Contemporary Art, First International Performance Biennial, Deformes in Santiago, Chile and the Kiasma Museum of Helsinki. In 2001 she received the prestigious Anonymous Was a Woman fellowship and in 2007 named a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow, as well as a Lambent Fellow. In 2008 She received the Chase Legacy award in Film (In conjunction with Kodak and HBO). And was the Artist in Residence of the American Studies Association in 2012. In 2013, Bustamante was awarded the (Short-term) CMAS-Benson Latin American Collection Research Fellowship and also a Makers Muse Award from the Kindle Foundation. In 2014/15 Bustamante was the Queer Artist in Residence at UC Riverside and in 2015 she was a UC MEXUS Scholar in Residence in preparation for a solo exhibit at Vincent Price Art Museum in Los Angeles. Bustamante’s video work is in the Kadist Collection.

In 2010 she was an unlikely contestant on TV network Bravo’s “Work of Art: The Next Great Artist.” In Bustamante is alum of the San Francisco Art Institute, New Genres program and the Skowhegen School of Painting. Currently she holds the position of Associate Professor of New Media and Live Art at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.


Nao Bustamante Artist Talk:
Body Vulnerable/Body Protected

Bustamante emerges as what Jose Esteban Munoz has called the vulnerability artist. While vulnerability proves to be an effective and illuminating lens through which to consider Bustamante’s performance, one must also confront aggression and hostility in Bustamante’s acts of performative self exposure. When Bustamante performs, no one in her presence is safe. There is something in the way that she stages distance, technology, and vulnerability such that we are compelled into an immediate field of exchange with Bustamante as violating and violatable body. The videos and performances highlighted in this event will underscore Bustamante’s particular skill with technologies of mediation. This artist talk provides a unique opportunity to view Bustamante’s performative interventions across time and media, making salient the ways in which Bustamante’s live body necessarily arrives as a mediated body historically constructed and one whose survival through mediation ensures its future vulnerability.

For information about upcoming events, like:
For past work, see:

Photo Credit for no_rifle.jpeg: Bustamante seen in Video still from “Test Shoot”
Photo Credit for 11given_confront.jpeg: Bustamante performs “Given Over to Want” photo credit: Jorge Acietuno

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