Amanda Cachia received her PhD in Art History, Theory & Criticism at the University of California, San Diego in Spring, 2017, and is an independent curator and critic from Sydney, Australia. Her research focuses on modern and contemporary art; curatorial studies; disability studies; performance, choreography and politics; activist art and museum access; feminist and queer theory; and phenomenology. Her dissertation, “Raw Sense: Choreography, Disability, Politics,” analyzes the work of eight contemporary artists who create radical interventions in public space by virtue of non-normative body actions, and traces a genealogy for this work through avant-garde art movements from the 1960s and 1970s to offer an expanded narrative on performance, minimalism and Fluxus from a disabled perspective. In 2016-2017, Cachia is teaching art history surveys, and courses in contemporary art, contemporary indigenous aesthetics, and disability aesthetics at University of California Los Angeles, California Institute of the Arts, California State University Long Beach, and Southwestern Community College District. She was a 2016 Yale University Sarah Pettit Doctoral Fellow and was the recipient of the Irving K. Zola Award for Emerging Scholars in Disability Studies, issued by the Society for Disability Studies (SDS) in 2014.
Previously the Director/Curator of the Dunlop Art Gallery in Saskatchewan, Canada, Cachia has curated approximately 40 exhibitions, many of which contain social justice themes and content. In Fall, 2018, Cachia will curate Automatisme Ambulatoire: Hysteria, Imitation, Performance, for the Owens Art Gallery at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, where six international artists have been invited to consider how “hysterical” gestures can work to subvert, undo, transform and re-imagine the body and language. This project is being supported by a $178,000 grant from the “New Chapter” fund at the Canada Council for the Arts.
Her critical writing has been published in the Routledge anthologies, Disability and Art History, and Disability, Space, Architecture: A Reader, numerous exhibition catalogues and art journals including Artforum, CAA Reviews, Canadian Art, Art Monthly Australia and On Curating, and peer-reviewed academic journals such as Design and Culture, Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies, Journal of Visual Art Practice, Museums and Social Issues, and The Senses and Society. Forthcoming publications include guest organizing and writing for the Forum “Curating New Openings: Rethinking Diversity in the Gallery” in the College Art Association’s peer-reviewed journal, Art Journal, (Fall 2017), and chapters in several interdisciplinary anthologies.
She has participated in numerous international and national conferences and related events within the USA, Canada, Australia, Europe and the Middle East, and has guest lectured at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), State University of New York (SUNY) at Purchase, Ontario College of Art and Design, Ryerson University, New York University, Goldsmiths College, Sydney College of the Arts, and Maryland Institute College of Art, among others. Cachia has served as a Visiting Critic for the International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP) in NYC, and as a panelist for the Rubin Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Art Works grant and Canada Council for the Arts. She is a dwarf activist and serves on the College Art Association’s (CAA) Committee on Women in the Arts (2017-2020).