October 12, 2016 - Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University - Embodied Absence: Chilean Art of the 1970s Now
October 12, 2016

Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University

Cecilia Vicuña, Sol y Dar y Dad, a danced word (still), from the series "Palabrarmas," Bogotá, l980. Filmed in 16mm, transferred to video, digital, approximately 4:3 (color, silent). Courtesy of the artist.

Embodied Absence: Chilean Art of the 1970s Now
October 27, 2016–January 8, 2017

Opening : October 27, 5:30–7:30pm, performance at 6pm: Two not One II, Carmen Beuchat with Felipe Mujica and Johanna Unzueta

Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University
24 Quincy Street
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
United States
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 12–5pm

T +1 617 496 5387

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Responding to the coup d’état of 1973 and its aftermath, Chilean artists residing in Santiago and abroad created art that spoke to their experience of political, social, and geographic marginalization. The results were often ephemeral artworks, “art-actions,” and performances that disappeared following their initial presentations, echoing the loss of the “disappeared” victims of the military regime throughout the decade. Many artists adopted the highly coded languages of conceptual art 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 transposition of such elusive works to another time and place is complicated by their dematerialized formats and the specificity of the sociopolitical contexts in which they originally unfolded.

Embodied Absence forefronts the challenge of historicizing ephemeral art by bringing documentation and artworks from this critical period into dialogue with new performances and installations created in collaboration with Chilean artists of a younger generation. These include Two not One II (2016), the first "reconstruction" of work from the 1970s by dancer and choreographer Carmen Beuchat (b. 1941), set within an installation of fabric curtains by Felipe Mujica and Johanna Unzueta (both b. 1974). The exhibition aims to reactivate, rearticulate, and bear witness through the lens of the contemporary moment.

Works by Elías Adasme, Carmen Beuchat with Felipe Mujica and 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

Public programs
Luz Donoso: Urban Art Interventions
Talk + workshop: Wednesday, October 19, 5:30pm, Level 1 

Carmen Beuchat with Felipe Mujica and Johanna Unzueta: Two not One II, 2016
Performance + installation: Thursday, October 27 + Saturday, October 29, 6pm, Level 1

Conceptual Stumblings and performance with Raúl Zurita and Cristóbal Lehyt
Panel + performance: Friday, October 28, 4pm, 1730 Cambridge Street, Room S-250

Curatorial walkthrough
Thursday, November 17, 5:30pm, Level 1 + 3 

Guest curated by Liz Munsell, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art & Special Initiatives, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and visiting curator, David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS), Harvard University.

This exhibition is co-organized with DRCLAS as part of its research project Conceptual Stumblings. Exhibition and program support is also provided by Harvard University Committee on the Arts. The first iteration Embodied Absence: Ephemerality and Collectivity in Chilean Art of the 1970s (September 2015–January 2016) was organized by Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende, Santiago, Chile with its substantial support in research and production of works, in collaboration with DRCLAS.

Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University
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