The Disappeared/Los Desaparecidos

disappeared_500.jpgThe Disappeared/Los Desaparecidos

“The word “disappeared” was redefined during the mid-20th Century in Latin America. “Disappeared” evolved into a noun used to identify people who were kidnapped, tortured and killed by their own governments in the latter decades of the twentieth century in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Venezuela. Colombia with its fifty-year civil war and Guatemala with its own thirty-seven-year civil war further expanded the meanings and uses of “disappeared.”

“The exhibition contains work by more than fifteen contemporary artists from these countries, who over the course of the last thirty years have made art about 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 have lived in countries maimed by endless civil war.

“This traveling exhibition, curated by the North Dakota Museum of Art, will be exhibited jointly by the Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts, the Centennial Museum and the Union Gallery, all on the UTEP campus. Campus departments and bi-national community arts organizations will participate in collaborative programming over the course of the exhibition, inviting broad community dialogue on the issues presented. Funded in part by the Lannan Foundation. ” Text courtesy of the Rubin and L Galleries and Project Space, University of Texas at El Paso Dept. of Art.

“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.” Text courtesy of the original exhibition website at the North Dakota Museum of Art.

Current show curated by Laurel Reuter

June 18 – September 11, 2009

Rubin and L Galleries and Project Space

University of Texas at El Paso Dept. of Art

500 W. University, El Paso, Texas

On View, Homepage Masthead: Empty Shirt, 1997 diptych by Luis Gonzáles Palma, (Guatemala, lives in Argentina).

One frame contains the frontal image of a Mayan woman, the second, an empty white shirt which stands in for the disappeared husband. Image courtesy of the North Dakota Museum of Art.

On View, Homepage Daily Episcopalian: Luis Camnitzer, (Uruguay, lives in New York). Image courtesy of the North Dakota Museum of Art

On View: Homepage Speaking to the Soul: Luis Camnitzer, (Uruguay, lives in New York) Image courtesy of the North Dakota Museum of Art.

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