El Museo del Barrio, New York’s premier Latino and Latin American cultural institution presents The Disappeared (Los Desaparecidos) from February 23 – June 17, 2007. This traveling exhibition, organized by the North Dakota Museum of Art and curated by Laurel Reuter, brings together visual artists’ responses to the tens of thousands of persons who were kidnapped, tortured, killed and “vanished” in Latin America by repressive rightwing military dictatorships during the late-1950s to the 1980s.
The Disappeared (Los Desaparecidos) gathers 14 contemporary living artists from seven countries in Central and South America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Uruguay and Venezuela), all of whose work contends with the horrors and violence stemming from the totalitarian regimes in each of their nations during the mid- to late-20th century. Some of the artists 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. These artists whose work is represented in the exhibition are Marcelo Brodsky, Luis Camnitzer, Arturo Duclos, Juan Manuel Echavarría, Antonio Frasconi, Nicolás Guagnini, Nelson Leirner, Sara Maneiro, Cildo Meireles, Oscar Muñoz, Ivan Navarro, Luis González Palma, Ana Tiscornia and Fernando Traverso. Also included is a collaborative installation Identity/Identidad by a collective of 13 Argentinean artists.
The range of visual languages — drawings, prints, photographs, installations and mixed media –incorporated in The Disappeared (Los Desaparecidos) frequently employs similar forms to evoke the presence of the missing person or persons. Bodies, faces, personal possessions and names, often methodically compiled and arranged, appear both boldly and subtly throughout the work in the exhibition. “Through their intense visual and emotional impact, these works communicate the unspeakable and reveal the artist’s assumed role of social responsibility towards ending the silence surrounding these extreme cases of human rights violations,” says Julián Zugazagoitia, Director of El Museo del Barrio.
Free public programs for adults, educators and children will be offered in relation to the exhibition and to encourage dialogue among viewers. Scheduled programming includes a series of film screenings, monthly family tours and workshops, an evening of music as a tribute to los desaparecidos on March 23, and an artist panel moderated by Columbia University Professor Andreas Huyssen on May 23. A bilingual illustrated color exhibition catalogue written by Laurel Reuter and Lawrence Weschler and produced by Charta, Italy with funding from The Lannan Foundation will accompany The Disappeared (Los Desaparecidos).
Sponsors for The Disappeared (Los Desaparecidos) are the Otto Bremer Foundation, the Andy
Warhol Foundation and the Lannan Foundation. This exhibition has also been supported in part
by a grant from the Open Society Institute, and by Mahnaz I. and Adam Bartos.