Implicated Spaces (2012)
Since Argentina’s Dirty War (1976–83), artists and activists have taken bold steps to reclaim memory and public space, proving that to remember is to resist, and to resist is to remember. By offering their bodies at demonstrations, employing recurring visual strategies such as portraits of the disappeared, and directly engaging the bodies of others in public, they have succeeded in intertwining memory, corporeality, and the politics of space. This persistent connection between bodies and space over the last 35 years has enabled a resistant visual politics of the disappeared to thrive in contemporary art and memorials. This performative lecture applies phenomenological and visual analyses to a mapping of the murder, disappearance, and reappearance of Rodolfo Walsh, an investigative journalist and activist who was killed and disappeared in 1977. This project’s focus is on memory sites in Buenos Aires such as Ex-ESMA (the former Argentine Naval Academy and notorious torture center) and the Monument to the Victims of State Terror at Memory Park as well as the embodied, interventionist memorial tactics in public space undertaken by the artist collective Grupo de Arte Callejero (Street Art Group).
Otalvaro-Hormillosa first presented “Implicated Spaces” at the California College of the Arts Visual and Critical Studies Graduate Symposium in April of 2012. Since then, she has also presented the piece at Stanford, University of San Francisco, School of Visual Arts (New York City), and Princeton.
To read an excerpt from her M.A. master’s thesis “Embodying Spaces: Memory and Resistance in the Aftermath of Argentina’s Dirty War (1976-1983),” visit Otalvaro-Hormillosa’s page on the website of CCA’s Visual and Critical Studies Graduate program.