2023 Curator Series Library Selections

For this year’s Curator Series, we asked each curator pair to include a selection of readings, writings, or music that have influenced their practice or informed their show.
During the shows, visitors are invited to flip through personal copies of relevant materials or put on a record or CD. At least 1 library material is acquired into our permanent collection. Email us at galleries@hollandreno.org to schedule a permanent collection library visit!

Something Unfinished About Us: Traces of a Particulate Configuration
Curated by M Jiang + ***X Lee
May 09 – June 16, 2023
Exhibition | Flickr | S.M.O.G. (Synchronized Mapping of Ghosts) | Surf’s Up with Ryan Cardoso

Books & Writings:

  1. Jack Whitten: Notes from the Woodshed, Jack Whitten (2018)
    (in the permanent collection of HPG Library, come in and take a look!)

***X + I call this book our Bible. It is a transcription of Jack Whitten’s studio notes that range from 1962 to his passing in 2017. Some pages span months, some are detailed accounts of thoughts and events and successful or failed processes. He makes many connections to Jazz- referring to his studio as a Woodshed. Woodshedding implies the freedom of practicing in private as well as the discipline necessary behind the stage curtain. Jack Whitten’s notes really set the tone for our Logs, where we detailed our working process in the creation of each SLAG.

  1. All the King’s Horses, Michéle Bernstein (1960/2008)

This is the book where the namesake of our show, Something Unfinished About Us, originated. All the King’s Horses is elusive peek into Michéle Bernstein’s personal life where she fictionalized the private life of herself and her partner, Guy Dubord, both important members in the Situationists movement. **X introduced me to the Situationists through the idea of the derive, which is basically an unplanned drifting through an urban landscape. The idea emerged as a response to industrialization, capitalism, and urbanization. Rather than be motivated by destination, the wanderer is can allow themselves to be attracted to encounters and terrain. The derive was an influential concept in SUAU. As curators we chose to release control on the final product and rely on the journey to shape the show.

In the novel, Geneviève, Michele’s character in the novel, says:

“We’re all characters in a novel, haven’t you noticed ? You and I speak in dry little sentences. There’s even something unfinished about us. And that’s how novels are. They don’t give you everything. It’s the rules of the game. And our lives are as predictable as a novel, too.”

These Fragment creations were not attempting to becoming finished, and we as curators were not attempting to make them whole, complete.

  1. A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking (1988)
  2. Dilla Time: The Life and Afterlife of J Dilla, the Hip-Hop Producer Who Reinvented Rhythm, Dan Charnas (2022)
  3. David Wojnarowicz: In the Shadow of Forward Motion, David Wojnarowicz/Felix Guattari (2020)
  4. Pedagogical Sketchbook, Paul Klee (1925)
  5. On the Concept of History, Walter Benjamin (1940)
  6. Codex Seraphinianus, Luigi Serafini (1981)
  7. Against the Romance of Community, Miranda Joseph (2002)
  8. Einstein’s Dreams , a novel by Alan Lightman (1993)

Hija/e/o/x(s) de Su–
Curated by Cesar Piedra + Geovany Uranda
July 11- Aug 25, 2023

Flickr | Exhibition | 16añera/e/o/x Block Party | Blanquemiento artist panel

Cesar Piedra:

As curators, Geovany and I invited the featured artists to reflect on their past experiences in which they were called a Hija/e/o/x(s) de Su- Through our studio visits, we learned of their unique, but familiar experiences, which can be traced to a time in their adolescence. These moments of rebellion, tragedy, and mischief serve as the source material for their works of art. I felt that it was essential that the library be curated with the same energy as Hija/e/o/x(s) de Su-, and the items reflected the themes of nostalgia and the challenging of authority. The selection of art writing focuses on Mesoamerican history and bits of nostalgia. Out of the collection of items in the library there are two works that truly embody how the artists challenge the conventional, experiment and play. They are Amputecture by The Mars Volta and The New World Border by Guillermo Gomez-Peña.


  • The New World Border, Guillermo Gomez-Pena (1996)

The book The New World Border by Guillermo Gomez-Peña’s explores his identity as a Chicano, which is an identity that is exposed to border conflict. Mexicans do not regard Chicanos as authentic Mexicans because they were born in “el gabacho” (U.S.A) while Americans assume that they are Mexican based on accent and complexion. These circumstances leave Gomez-Peña to establish his own cultural history through performative works that use the imaginary lines of borders as a stage. One of my favorite performances discussed in the text is The Birth of Border Brujo in this piece Gomez-Peña and his colleague Hugo, crossed the border in costume. They were detained, interrogated, and released by the
border patrol. Gomez-Peña continued to cross the border as different characters. Those personas that were let into the U.S. were scrapped to make new identities for characters that would not be granted access into the country. The text made performance art accessible to me, and I learned different ways to interact with the viewer/audience.

  • Helen Escobedo: Pasos en la Arena, Graciela Schmilchuk (2001)
  • Another Promise Land, Ania Breners México, Otra Tierra Prometida El México de Anita Brenner (2017)
  • Mexico Profundo: Reclaiming a Civilization, Guillermo Bonfil Batalla (1996)
  • A RIGHT to be HOSTILE, Aaron McGruder (2003)
  • Chicano and Chicana Art a Critical Anthology, Jennifer A. Gonzalez, C. Odine Chavoya, Chon Noriega, Terezita Romo (2019)
  • Malintzin’s Choices: An indian woman in the conquest of Mexico, Camilla Townsend (2006)
  • Fifth Sun: A new history of the Aztecs, Camila Townsend (2019)
  • Like Water for Chocolate, Laura Esquivel (1989)
  • Manifestos and Polemics in Latin American Modern Art, Patrick Frank (2017)
  • Shin Chan Vol. 1 (2002)
  • FLCL Vo.l 1-2
  • Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (1969)
  • Latinos who Lunch: the ABC of Latinidad Coloring Book, Illustrated by Geovany Uranda in collaboration with Justin Favela (2020)
  • La Habana Cuba, zine by Rick R. Ledesma (2018)
  • UNLV BFA STUDIO ART publication (2022)
  • TheVagusNerve: UNLV’s Premier Art & Literary Magazine, Spring 2007
  • Dog Days, Roller Skate Magazine (2023)
  • 206 Zine issues 1-3, Malcriada Media (2020- 2022)
  • Future Relics: Artifacts for a New World, curated by GULCH Collective (2020-2021)
  • UNGER, art zine created by Charlene Elma


  • The Mars Volta Amputecture (White & Blue) 2006

The album Amputecture accompanied me in the studio. The wild symphony of sound and cryptic lyrics made for a complimentary soundtrack whilst felting the fiber portion of my piece. The Mars Volta use English, Spanish and create their own language for their music. Cedric Bixler-Zavala (Vocals) has spoken of this blending of language as a nod the future of humanity. In my practice I blend history with the present El Ritual has aspects of high and low brow art. The piece is very ancient but also contemporary.

  • Handsome Boy Modeling School White People (White) 2004
  • Operation Ivy Energy (Solid Neon Green) 1989
  • Minor Threat Minor Threat (Blue) Dischord no. 12 1984
  • Mas Aya Mascaras 2021
  • Orquesta Akokan 16 Rayos (Orange) 2019
  • Gil Scott-Heron Pieces of a Man 1971
  • The Roots Things Fall Apart 1999
  • Luis Pérez En el Ombligo De La Luna 1981
  • Run the Jewels RTJ CU4TRO 2022
  • The Marias SuperClean Vol 1 & 2 2017
  • The Pixies Come on Pilgrim… Its Surfer Rosa (Gold) 2018
  • Ondatr​ó​pica Ondatr​ó​pica 2012

This series is made possible in part through a grant from Nevada Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities