von Bartha artist Felipe Mujica takes part in “Embodied Absence: Chilean Art of the 1970s Now” at Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University

Embodied Absence: Chilean Art of the 1970s Now’ takes the Chilean coup d’état and its aftermath in the 1970s as a point of departure, bringing artworks as well as documentation from this tumultuous period into dialogue with new collaborations and performances from contemporary Chilean artists. The exhibition addresses the challenges of historicising artworks by presenting works that draw from photographic and video documentation and human memory. The show evaluates and rearticulates these works through a contemporary lens.

For this project Felipe Mujica has worked in collaboration with New York-based, Chilean artist Johanna Unzueta. Other participating artists include UNAC (Unión por la Cultura), CADA (Colectivo de acciones de arte), Elías Adasme, Carmen Beuchat, Francisco Copello, Luz Donoso, Juan Downey, Carlos Leppe, Catalina Parra, Lotty Rosenfeld, Cecilia Vicuña and Raúl Zurita, with Cristóbal Lehyt.

Following the coup d’état in 1973, Chilean artists based in Santiago, as well as further afield, responded to the events through artwork which expressed their political, social, and geographic marginalisation. In the absence of institutional support, artists exhibited in public spaces; they founded independent galleries and collectives in a bid to protect their own identities and developed highly coded languages in order to avoid censorship. Often their artworks would incorporate transient materials, many of which have subsequently degraded, or have been lost.

‘Embodied Absence: Chilean Art of the 1970s Now’ is 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, Harvard University (DRCLAS).

Devoted to the synthesis of art, design, and education, The Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts has a rolling exhibition programme that platforms existing works as well as new commissions.