Maria San Martin—2015 Project Assistance Grant Recipient

Indignity and Resistance in the Foothills of the Andes. 

A Case Study of Villa Grimaldi. 1973-1978.

Indignity and Resistance in the Foothills of the Andes: A Case Study of Villa Grimaldi, was published in February 2015, and is focused on one of the most symbolic torture centers during the dictatorship in Chile, Villa Grimaldi.

Through testimonies of survivors, visual archives, conversations with family members of the disappeared, and the support of Villa Grimaldi’s board, Indignity and Resistance, a six-month research project, become an artist book.

The book has two written sections, and one illustrated section. The written part comprehends an introduction of Villa Grimaldi; the list of the victims that where murdered at the center; names of DINA collaborators; testimony of victim, Gladys Diaz; and several quotations of other survivors taken from the center’s archives. The central image is printed on both sides of the book. The technique used is mono-prints, etching, and screen print, and the shape of the book resembles a circular accordion. On one side of the book—the front side—several illustrations represent prisoners while tortured by DINA agents, showing also the solidarity between the victims.  On the other side—the back—a long print of the Andes Cordillera, which surrounded the Villa, is depicted with glass beads.

In an effort to show what happened both inside and outside the center, the structure of the book unfolds and converts into an illusion of the inside, while in the outside the figure of the Andes reflects how life continued no matter what occurred inside the wall.  In the inside of the circular shape, some torture techniques are depicted, such as the following: Road of Death; corvi houses; railroad tracks; blindfolded way; and forced labors.

"Indignity and Resistance" is a book of a varied edition of 50 copies printed with monoprints, etching, screenprint, and digital print. The book is contained inside of a slipcase wrapped with a silkscreen printed linen book cloth.

The book will be part of the show Memorial and Mobility. Layering the collective history of the Chilean people. The event includes a reading performance at McNally Jackson Bookstore in NY on September 11th, followed by a solo exhibition at the Embassy of Chile from September 22nd to October 23rd, and ends up with an Institution tour to the collections of the artist during 2016-2017. The exhibition includes five artists books + prints + a sculpture called: There is no tomorrow without yesterday. The context of the program coincides with the 43 years since the coup in Chile and the 40th anniversary of the murder of Orlando Letelier, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Interior, and Defense during the presidency of Salvador Allende, in Washington, D.C., organized by the Consulate of Chile, Booklyn Artist Alliance and McNally Jackson.

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