Magic Box: Objects, Special Collections, Memory and Archiving

A conversation between Martin La Roche and Nicholas Martin @ Printed Matter / st Marks
November 17, 2023
6 pm - 8 pm

Join us at Printed Matter / St Marks for a conversation with Martín La Roche and Nicholas Martin, moderated by Jaclyn Dooner.

The focus will be on the significance of collecting objects, memory and archiving, while focusing specifically on David Wojnarowicz’s “Magic Box” (NYU special collections) and Martín La Roche’s “Musée Légitime.” Serving as a cultural preservation, historical documentation, and situated interpretation, questioning the legitimacy of recounting past stories in the present context and the role of archives.

During the event, Martín will introduce Musée Légitime – a museum encapsulated within a hat. Each artist featured in this unique collection contributes a small or intangible piece that can fit within the hat while it’s worn by the artist. For this particular evening, a special selection of pieces for Musée Légitime pays homage to David Wojnarowicz’s “Magic Box.” This box, discovered beneath the New York artist’s bed after his passing in 1992 due to AIDS-related complications, remains an enigmatic artifact with its contents left unaddressed by Wojnarowicz during his lifetime. Martín La Roche uses this poignant story as a launching point for contemplations on collections, memories, and the notion of queer space.

​​Martin La Roche born in Santiago Chile, 1988. He earned a BA in Visual Arts at the University of Chile, Santiago in 2013. In 2015, he completed a postgraduate program at the Jan Van Eyck Academie in Maastricht, the Netherlands. Since then, he has lived and worked in Amsterdam. His work has been shown in solo exhibitions at MAVI (Museum of Visual Arts, Santiago de Chile); Casanova (São Paulo, Brazil); Manifold Books (Amsterdam, The Netherlands); Die Ecke Arte Contemporáneo, (Barcelona, Catalunya); and Beautiful Distress (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), among others; and in group exhibitions in Colombia, Germany, Serbia, Switzerland, and Japan, among others.

Nicholas Martin is the Curator for the Arts & Humanities at NYU Special Collections, where he oversees the archives held in the Downtown Collection, the Riot Grrrl Collection, and the New York University Special Collections. He is a Past President of the Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York. Recent publications include contributions to Christopher D'Arcangelo (Kunstverein / Artists Space, 2023) and Luxe, Calme, Volupté (Candice Madey Gallery, forthcoming).

Jaclyn Dooner is the founding director of Miriam Gallery, an artist-run gallery and bookshop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Through deeply collaborative relationships with artists and curators, Miriam shares uniquely interdisciplinary practices through exhibitions, artists’ books, and public programs.

This program is free and open to the public. Please, rsvp here