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The Disappeared, Exhibit Organized by North Dakota Museum of Art, Opens in Guatemala
Arturo Dulcos, Untitled. Untitled is constructed of 66 human femur bones screwed together to form a fragile Chilean flag.
GUATEMALA CITY.- The Disappeared brings together the work of twenty-seven living artists from South America who, over the course of the last thirty years, have made art about los desaparecidos or the disappeared. These artists have lived through the horrors of the military dictatorships that rocked their countries in the mid-decades of the twentieth century. Some worked in the resistance; some had parents or siblings who were disappeared; others were forced into exile. The youngest were born into the aftermath of those dictatorships. And still others live in countries maimed by endless civil war. Disappearance was inevitably linked to torture. Laurel Reuter, curator of the exhibition and director of the North Dakota Museum of Art, was struck by the timelessness and truthfulness of the art. For example, when Identidad, a collaborative installation made by thirteen Argentinean artists, opened in Buenos Aires, three people discovered their long-hidden identities. They had been taken at birth from those who opposed the government and adopted into military families. Through their art, these artists fight amnesia in their own countries as a stay against such atrocities happening again.

Artists in exhibition:
Marcelo Brodsky, Luis Camnitzer, Arturo Dulcos, Juan Manuel Echavarría, Antonio Frasconi, Nicolas Guagnini, Sara Maneiro, Cildo Meireles, Oscar Muñoz, Ivan Navarro, Luis Gonzáles Palma, Ana Tiscornia and Fernando Traverso.

Collaborative work by Argentinean artists Carlos Alonso, Nora Aslán, Mireya Baglietto, Remo Bianchedi, Diana Dowek, León Ferrari, Rosana Fuertes, Carlos Gorriarena, Adolfo Nigro, Luis Felipe Noé, Daniel Ontiveros, Juan Carlos Romero & Marcia Schvartz.

Good Memory

Having just turned forty, Marcelo Brodsky found himself back in Argentina after having lived in Spain for many years. This new beginning was an opportune time to work on his identity. According to Brodsky, "Photography, with its precise ability to freeze a point in time, was the tool I used for this purpose." With a desire to know what had become of his class mates, Brodsky began to go through photographs of his youth. A 1967 eighth-grade class photo was selected and used as the centerpiece for Buena Memoria.

"I decided to hold a 25th reunion of my classmates from the Colegio Nacional Buenos Aires," said Brodsky "so that we could see each other again. I invited those who I was able to find to my house, and proposed doing a portrait of each of them. I blew up a huge version of the 1967 picture, the first one in which we were all together, to serve as a backdrop for the portraits, and asked each to include an element of his or her current life in their portrait."

–Marcelo Brodsky

Uruguayan Torture Series
suite of 35 etchings

Some years ago I began to think of art as a political instrument. In the late 1960s, I started making political art, declarative work. To me, that was not satisfying because any possibility of mystery disappears as soon as the artist makes a clear statement. That produced a big crises in me. Gradually I learned to elicit creativity from the viewer instead of promoting my own creativity. This art is not about me; it’s about you. I just set the stage. A little later, I faced the situation in Uruguay. I moved there, from Germany where I was born, at age one. Then in 1964 I came to the United States. A de facto dictatorship had begun in Uruguay in 1969 and was made legal in 1973. I was a militant student; most of my friends ended up in jail, in torture. Meanwhile, I was in New York, very comfortable, relatively wealthy.

I developed thirty-five etchings for this suite, most do not overtly depict violence. Instead I try to produce a situation in which neither the image nor the text reveal too much. Only when they are seen together does something happen. The etchings feature everyday objects rather than exotic information from somewhere else. I photographed them in my basement. The body parts, my own. The image and text are relatively meaningless in themselves. Once they click together, an insight occurs about the violence. That configuration is not just about being tortured, empathizing with the victim, but also with the torturer and oneself as accomplice.

–Luis Camnitzer

Untitled

Untitled is constructed of 66 human femur bones screwed together to form a fragile Chilean flag. It is a continuation of an artistic investigation called The Anatomy Lesson, where a gathering of human bones painted with colored symbols lies scattered on a white towel on the floor. Untitled is a sad and eloquent representation of a nation that did not protect its citizens. It is a gesture I have tried to comprehend. I have looked for a body (or shape) with which to endow the flag of Chile, and I found it in human bones.

-Arturo Dulcos

NN (no name)

I found this mannequin abandoned in a courtyard of an old textile factory in Bogota. It was a mannequin of a child. Made of burlap and plaster, it caught my attention. I took it to my home and kept it for nine years until I decided to bring it out again.

I photographed this mannequin as if I was doing an emotional autopsy, looking closely at the different parts of the body and its different wounds. It was a body that I immediately associated with the mass graves and the massacres, which keep occurring in Colombia. Here was a corpse that presented cuts that could have been done by machete and other cutting instruments. This child’s body became a metaphor of mutilation.

In the long history of Colombia’s violence, massacres keep repeating, accompanied by mutilations of the corpses. These mutilations have been known as cortes or cuts. In the 1950s the cuts took place in the countryside in a war between conservative and liberal peasants. Among the many different cuts there was one named picadillo de tamal (tamal being a national dish and picadillo meaning minced). In this corte the body was cut into small pieces so the identification of the body was erased.

Today the paramilitary forces in the countryside have continued these practices. In some massacres the stomach of the victim is cut open and disemboweled so the body when thrown into the river sinks to the bottom. Other corpses that are thrown into the rivers float and if the vultures do not eat them, the corpse that are rescued are buried under a cross written with the words NN (no name).

—Juan Manuel Echavarría







Today's News

May 27, 2008

WestLicht Gallery Reconsiders Che Guevara in Photography Exhibit in Vienna

Guggenheim in Bilbao Presents a Retrospective of the Works of Art Made by Juan Muñoz

University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology Offers 50,000 Reward

First Photographs on Paper in Great-Britain (1840-1860) to Open at Musee D'Orsay

Christie's Presents Most Valuable Latin American Sale in New York

Vernissage 2008: San Francisco Art Institute MFA Graduate Exhibit

Yves Saint Laurent Exhibit Spanning 40 Years Opens at The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Three Million Euro for a New Digital Museum at Statens Museum for Kunst

The Disappeared, Exhibit Organized by North Dakota Museum of Art, Opens in Guatemala

Getty Images Gallery and Pinewood Present Capturing Film History in-the-Making

2008 Liverpool Cityscape: New Commission by Ben Johnson at the Walker Art Gallery

Whitechapel Gallery's Major Programme of Artists' Commissions, The Street, Presents Bernd Krauss

Watercolours of Nineteenth-Century Rural Britain by Robert Hills and his Contemporaries to Open at The Fitzwilliam

Largest Hendrix Exhibition Ever Featuring Iconic Images by a Who's Who of World-Renowned Rock Photographers

SFMOMA Announces 2008 SECA Art Award Winners

J. Paul Getty Museum Announces New Curator for Antiquities

Fluid Street - Alone, Together Celebrates KIASMA's 10th Anniversary

Portrait of Nobel Prize Winning Scientist Sir Paul Nurse by British Artist Jason Brooks

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Image of a Christ without a beard, short hair and wearing a toga unearthed in Spain

2.- Giant mosaic unearthed in mysterious tomb in Amphipolis in northern Macedonia

3.- Bonhams sale of 18th century French decorative arts to benefit Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

4.- Paris flustered by erection of 'sex-toy' sculpture; Paul McCarthy slapped by a passer-by

5.- High art or vile pornography? Marquis de Sade explored in Orsay museum exhibition

6.- 'Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection' opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

7.- Greek culture minister says Elgin Marbles return a matter of 'global heritage'

8.- Vandals deflate Paris 'sex-toy' sculpture by American artist Paul McCarthy after outrage

9.- Exhibition at National Gallery in London explores Rembrandt's final years of painting

10.- 'Hans Memling: A Flemish Renaissance' opens at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome

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