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Embodied Absence: Chilean Art of the 1970s Now

Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
October 27, 2016 – January 8, 2017




Artists: Elías Adasme, Carmen Beuchat, Felipe Mujica with Johanna Unzueta, CADA (Colectivo Acciones de Arte), Francisco Copello, Luz Donoso, Juan Downey, Carlos Leppe, Catalina Parra, Lotty Rosenfeld, UNAC (Unión por la Cultura), Cecilia Vicuña, and Raúl Zurita with Cristóbal Lehyt.

Responding to the coup d’état and its aftermath in the 1970s, Chilean artists residing in Santiago and abroad created works that spoke to their experience of political, social, and geographic marginalization during the early years of the Pinochet dictatorship. These artists developed highly coded languages to evade censorship, exhibited work in public space in lieu of institutional support, and formed independently run galleries and artist collectives to protect their individual identities. The results were frequently ephemeral works that utilized the human body and impermanent materials as primary mediums, thus disappearing following initial presentations and interventions.

Embodied Absence: Chilean Art of the 1970s Now brings works of art and documentation from this historic period into dialogue with new performances and collaborations with contemporary Chilean artists of a younger generation. The exhibition forefronts the challenges of historicizing elusive artworks by presenting works that take photographic and video documentation and human memory as points of departure and reactivating, rearticulating, and witnessing the interventions and works through the lens of the contemporary moment.


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