Archaeologies of Destruction
8 by 11 inches, 144 pages, untrimmed saddle bound
Editor: Jennifer Burris Staton
From curator Jennifer Burris Staton:
Economic turmoil, technologies of violence, and militaristic regimes dominated Latin American politics and society during the 1950s and ’60s. In this context, a constellation of artists sought to neutralize the potential horror of such change by displacing destruction into the symbolic realm of art, seeking ritualistic experiences of mediated transformation. “Destruction is, for the artist, the supreme order of freedom,” wrote Argentine poet and art critic Aldo Pellegrini in his 1961 manifesto. This exhibition traces the archaeological remnants and histories of this movement as they continue to reverberate in our present.
The exhibition catalogue featuring the work of Eduardo Abaroa, Kenneth Kemble, Marcos Kurtycz, Ana Mendieta, Marta Minujín, and Raphael Montañez Ortiz is printed in black ink only, reflecting the austerity of the work shown, but it is augmented by a stubborn physicality: untrimmed gathered pages with copper staple binding. Over time the binding oxidizes, suggesting the aging of the book as object.