Art born of a need to tell

The Los Desaparacito/The Disappeared installation is an outstanding collaboration of nine galleries around Santa Fe, NM. They are all part of this exhibit of artists whose lives have been profoundly affected by the political upheavals in Latin America over the last thirty years.

I went to the opening of the exhibit at Site Santa Fe.

“The works by 27 artists from seven countries in Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Uruguay, and Venezuela) brought together visual artists’ responses to the tens of thousands of persons who were kidnapped, tortured, killed, and “vanished” in Latin America by repressive right-wing military dictatorships during the late-1950s to the 1980s. The artists in this exhibition approach the phenomenon of “disappearance” from personal perspectives. Their paintings, photographs, sculptures, and videos express individual experiences of the turbulence and chaos that rocked their countries in the mid-decades of the twentieth century.”

Since I too work in the realm of remembrance, I was especially touched and awed by this show.


Oscar Munoz of Colombia created ghostly images from the obituaries on six steel discs in his piece, Breath/Aliento. “Through the simple act of breathing, we endow a personal and collective memory with life, presence, and meaning, ” says the artist’s statement. He also created a series of videos called, “Project for a Memorial” in which he sketches the faces of the dead with hot water on stones and they disappear as quickly as he draws them.

The collaborative group, “Identity/Identidad”, from Argentina, is made up of 13 artists. They created a heart breaking maze of over 200 black and white photos of abducted expecting couples side by side with a mirror which stood in for their unborn child. I could not even walk through the whole piece which snaked horizontally through a few rooms. What is incredible is that eight people have discovered their own identities by walking through this installation when it was displayed in Argentina and Uruguay.

All of the artists in the SITE SF show were outstanding and is a must see.

The other galleries who are in this city-wide exhibit are:
Center for Contemporary Arts
Center for Contemporary Arts Cinemtheque
College of Santa Fe – Documentary Studies Program and Marion Center for Photographic Arts
Institute of American Indian Arts Museum
Lannan Foundation
National Hispanic Cultural Center
Santa Fe Art Institute
SITE Santa Fe

I definitely will be making it to a few more of the galleries and hope to report back on this very important, timely, and devastating exhibit.

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