Chile's Military Dictatorship Inspires New Art Show at BRIC
BRIC, the leading presenter of free cultural programming in Brooklyn, is pleased to present Memory in Multiples, an exhibition of artist books, matrices, and memorial sculptures by Chilean printmaker María Verónica San Martín. San Martín's research-based practice centers around documenting the violence of the military dictatorship in Chile, in which the United States was directly involved. Through archival research-searching for those who were disappeared by the dictatorship between 1973 and 1990-she makes public the stories hidden deep within declassified documents. San Martín approaches printmaking itself as a process of removal, negation, and reappearance in multiples, and simultaneously signals the quiet erosion of memory and the literal disappearance of bodies from collective memories of violence in Chile. Her installed books take the form of sculptural memorials, creating spaces of absence, reflection, and resistance.
Curated by Reya Sehgal, Memory in Multiples is on view from Thursday, May 25 through Sunday, June 25 in the Project Room at BRIC House (647 Fulton Street), Downtown Brooklyn's largest contemporary art gallery. An opening reception and performance will take place on Wednesday, May 24, 7-9pm, and is open to the public. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-6pm; Sunday, 12-6pm, and closed Mondays. Gallery admission is free. Group and individual tours are available on Wednesday mornings.
In Memory in Multiples, San Martín references Peter Eisenman's iconic memorial architecture, choreographing movement through a textured landscape of memorials. Here, she signals that the architecture of memory, at a remove, becomes a global experience of both immersion and forgetting. This timely subject matter speaks to a global trend of systematic oppression and sanitized, de-politicized forms of mourning. Memory in Multiples offers memory itself as political, and San Martín beautifully evokes the urgency of history through its capacity to fade.
Curator of the exhibition, Reya Sehgal, writes, "I think Maria's work helps us consider global power structures-including the rise in dictatorships we are seeing, worldwide, today-as they relate to real lives. When the government renders human life a hindrance to its mission, a memorial can offer a new way to reflect on violence. As memorials themselves, Maria's prints and books expose a great deal of historical evidence, and they also ask us to see this history differently. Printmaking as a practice is about multiples, access, and distribution, but it is also about disappearance and transmutation. Maria invokes this haunting nature of the printmaking process in order to create a sense of collective, distributed memory that is deeply connected to its own disappearance. Her work is a protest form that asks us to remember critically, and to keep this history with us as we fight against structural violence today."
About the Artists
María Verónica San Martín is a Chilean printmaker, bookmaker, and performer whose work examines the often-silenced violence in Chilean collective memory. Represented by Booklyn Inc., in New York, she has exhibited at the Museum of Memory and Human Rights, Santiago, Chile; Stanford University Museum, Stanford, CA; Minneapolis Museum, Minneapolis, MN; Museum of Contemporary Art, Santiago, Chile; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; LARVA - Varieties Arts Lab, Guadalajara, MX, and Centro Cultural Estación Antofagasta, Antofagasta, Chile. Her work can be found in the collections of the Pompidou Centre, Paris, France; Museum Meermanno-Westreenianum, The Hague, Netherlands; Klingspor Museum, Offenbach am Main, Germany; New York Public Library, NY; Yale University, New Haven, CT; Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; Stanford University, Stanford, CA; and the Library of Congress. In 2016 San Martín attended the Art OMI Residency in Ghent, NY, and she is currently an artist-in-residence at The Center for Book Arts, NY, with a FONDART fellowship from the Cultural Council of Chile. She received her MA in Book Arts from The Corcoran School of Art and Design, The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. www.mveronicasanmartin.com/
Reya Sehgal has curated exhibitions and programs at BRIC; Queens Museum, NY; Gateway Project Spaces, NJ; Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive, CA; AS220, RI; and Brown University, where she received her MA in Public Humanities. Reya is a member of the DIVERSITY FELLOWS! performance collaborative, and has given lectures and performances at the RISD Museum, Arab American National Museum, UC Davis, Panoply Performance Lab, and CUE Art Foundation. She is currently an artist-in-residence at RISD. www.reyareyareya.com
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