CELESTE  OLALQUIAGA

BIOGRAPHY

CULTURAL HISTORIAN

Celeste Olalquiaga is a cultural historian dedicated to rescuing lost causes, in particular the leftovers of modernity such as modern ruins and kitsch. Her first book, Megalopolis: Contemporary Cultural Sensibilities (1992), explained popular urban culture and postmodernity in an informed yet accessible way and became a cult classic. It was translated to several languages and is still being reprinted today. Her second book, The Artificial Kingdom: A Treasury of the Kitsch Experience (1998), presented kitsch as a cultural sensibility, steering this modern phenomenon away from the good taste/bad taste discussion and showing it as a product of industrialization. It has also been translated to several languages. In 2013, Celeste founded PROYECTO HELICOIDE in order to make visible the extraordinary modern ruin of El Helicoide, in Caracas, Venezuela. In this capacity, she has curated several exhibitions and co-edited Downward Spiral: El Helicoide's Descent from Mall to Prison (2018). Celeste has received Guggenheim and Rockefeller awards, contributes to journals and catalogues, and lectures worldwide. She will be a Spring 2019 Fellow at The Clark Art Institute.

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