Dr Verónica Tello


Fields of Research (FoR)

Art history, theory and criticism, Heritage, archive and museum studies

SEO tags


Senior Lecturer, History of Contemporary Art and Culture

I am a Chilean-Australian historian and writer. My research predominantly focuses on transnational politics and archives in/out of the Pacific, Latin America and Australia.

I completed my PhD (art history/visual culture) at the University of Melbourne in December 2013. My PhD was the basis of my first book, Counter-Memorial Aesthetics: Refugee Histories and the Politics of Contemporary Art (Radical Aesthetics Radical Art series, Bloomsbury Philosophy, 2016). The book focuses on the protracted ‘global refugee crisis' from the 1990s to the present across Australia, the UK and the Americas. It analyses how contemporary artists have grappled with how to archive and remember contested migratory histories within contexts marked by intensified border politics. Within national landscapes brimming with monuments, 'counter-memorial aesthetics' opens up numerous tactics to understand the various ways that often invisible and/or erased migratory histories pass through us and have the potential to reshape us, time and again.   

My second book, Future Souths: Dialogues on Art, Place, and History (2023, Discipline and Third Text Publications), develops a moving conceptual vocabulary of the aesthetics, politics, histories and potentialities of the Global Souths in collaboration with artists, writers and curators such as Dylan AT Miner, Carla Macchiavello, James Nguyen, Zoe Butt, Salote Tawale, Rolando López, Jennifer Biddle, Ruth Simbao, Rachel O'Reilly, Walter Mignolo, and many others.

I am currently developing a monograph on the exhibition history of Art in Chile: An Audiovisual Documentation (1986), curated by Juan Dávlia and Nelly Richard, and the associated book Margins and Institutions: Art in Chile after 1973 (1986), published by Art & Text, authored by Richard and translated by Dávila and Paul Foss. 

In addition, with Salote Tawale and Ien Ang, I am leading the Australian Research Council Linkage project focussed on how collections and archives can catalyse epistemological experiments and equity (or structural change) within Australian regional art museums. The project, entitled Parallel, is developed in partnership with Murray Albury Museum of Art (MAMA) and embraces the potential of the ‘parallel’ or the ‘para’ as a way of being adjacent to, beyond or distinct from the structural formations that are typically the case in Australian art institutions.

From 2023-2027 I will be the Editor in Chief of the Australia and New Zealand Journal of Art, published by Taylor & Francis. I am the Sydney editor of Memo Review.

Recent publications: