Moving Memorials

Date: 26 June 2019
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Location: The Grolier Club, NYC
Lecturer: María Verónica San Martín - Book Artist

Moving Memorials is an ongoing project of traveling exhibition and performance program I began in 2016. Composed of several artist books in constant transformation, the series and its mobility rejects a fixed past and an idealistic progress of the Dictatorship in Chile and its legacy, calling instead for an open book and an open narrative. I consider printmaking not just a technique but rather an aesthetic; a conceptual medium that I use to explore further the theme of memory through a variety of representation strategies. This process—its temporality involving invisibility and visibility—reminds us of demands in the public space related to the searching of truth yet not of reconciliation, as reconciliation’s aim is to close the issue of the “disappeared” and human rights struggles in Chile. Moving Memorials thus migrates from the public space mottos such as “Where are they,” “Neither forgive nor forget,” and “That they appear, alive,” inviting the viewer to connect, in the present made out of the contingency of the past, with the politics of reconstitution by means of faces, names, memory sites, and declassified archives regarding U.S.-Chilean relations during the Cold War and Nazism’s involvement in that violence. In other words, my books and their various forms of assembly aim to overcome the traditional codex-like format, becoming sculptures that I call “memorials” which are not there to be contemplated in the distance, but rather to be touched, mobilized once and again, inviting the viewer to participate in the experience of the work and its special and temporal possibilities.