In 2012, an elderly Spanish woman painted God and the world laughed at her. Behold the Monkey will offer a serious and spirited critical study of Cecilia Giménez’s 2012 restoration of a 1930s Ecce Homo fresco in her town’s church and its ongoing circulation as a meme. After the laughter subsides, we are left with an eerily compelling image that resonates with some of today’s most critical questions about art and aesthetics. Like a miracle, her work arrives from another world to challenge and enlighten ours. Giménez’s rendering will be engaged as a popular image and as a conceptual provocation in line with the avant-garde art historical ruptures of the twentieth century (from readymades to relational aesthetics) that expand our sense of what an artwork could be, and why such debates matter.

Jace Clayton is an artist and writer based in Manhattan who is also known for his work as DJ/rupture. Clayton uses an interdisciplinary approach to focus on how sound, memory, and public space interact, with an emphasis on low-income communities and the global South. His book, Uproot: Travels in 21st Century Music and Digital Culture, was published in 2016 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Clayton’s critical essays have appeared in Artforum, frieze, Bidoun, and the New York Times Magazine. He serves on the faculty of Bard College’s Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts.