Art Under Duress:
El Salvador 1980-present
detail, catalog cover: Antonio Bonilla, Angel
of the Tropics
, not dated.
[select detail for view of whole image]
"If art cannot make a difference in people's lives, it is difficult
to justify. It is expensive. Only rarely can it be eaten. Surely it can
be more than capital goods, investment, personal confession; even more
than a source of delight to those who own it or even experience it in the
museum. Those roles are important, but alone they are not enough for me.
This is a dangerous world. Some art should serve as a vacation from that
danger, and much of it does. But certainly some of it should be dangerous,
or make us feel the immenence of that danger. "
....from the introduction by Marilyn A. Zeitlin, curator of
the exhibit and catalog editor, Arizona State University (ASU) Nelson Art Center home
Rudolfo Molina Mapa,
Marilyn Zeitlin traveled to El Salvador in 1994, where she located,
documented, organized and ultimately arranged to have exhibited in the
United States work by dozens of El Salvadoran artists, many with formal
art school training, and many more without. Wes Sandel was her co-director
for a video documentary of this project. Staff from the Arizona State
University Museum were also deeply involved and responsible for the enormous
amount of work and organization required to make the project a reality.
All of their hard work and efforts would not have been possible without
the hospitality and guidance of the many people they met in El Salvador,
whose cooperation and encouragement were essential.
Bonilla, La Masacre de los Santos Inocentes
not dated. [The
Massacre of the Holy Innocents] [right
] La Via Cruces de la Nina Florida
1992. [The Way of the Cross of the Flower Girl]
The catalog accompanying the exhibition includes a chronology of El
Salvador from its domination in 1525 by conquistador Pedro de Alvarado,
through to the December 1994 redefinition of the FMLN (Farabundo Marti
Liberation Front). Most of the text and all the essays are presented in
Spanish and English (translated by Beatriz Cortez).
Salvador Sanchez, two untitled pencil drawings, 1987.
Three of the five essays are interviews: Zeitlin discusses Present
& Future: New Standards in the Post-War Period
with Angela Sanbrano
Hope and Change
, with Jon Cortina,
, and El Salvador and Global
with Noam Chomsky
. Eduardo Sancho
is the author of the
essay entitled Adapting to a New Situation: The Political Picture in
El Salvador after the War.
Zeitlin also contributes an essay: Salvadoran
Realities: A Post-war Perspective.
A well-organized bibliography completes this art- and information-rich
Please note: All images in Graphic Witness are for personal enjoyment or educational use. Any other use is prohibited.