Mono-channel video and stereo audio, 32 min
To lose our humane ways poses an image of the eighties in Latin America that establishes a counterpoint among the rampaging effects of violence on bodies, and on the radical experiences of freedom and transformation that challenged repressive order.
Mangled bodies / mutant bodies. Standing somewhere between terror and festivity, this material shows not only the atrocious consequences of the massacre and mass disappearance under a dictatorial regime, the states of siege, and the internal wars, but also the collective impulses to devise ways of living in constant revolution.
This exhibition identifies the multiple and simultaneous emergence of new ways of doing art and politics in different parts of Latin America during the eighties. It shows the results of an ongoing research led by the Conceptualismos del Sur network which, in its first phase, focused on episodes on the Southern Cone, Brazil and Peru, with the inclusion of specific cases from Mexico, Colombia and Cuba. The historical time frame it focuses on begins in 1973, the year of the coup of Pinochet in Chile, and it extends to 1994, when the Zapatismo launched a new cycle of protests, recasting activism at an international level. This time period is consistent with the consolidation of neoliberalism as a new hegemony, the twilight of socialism, and the crisis of the traditional left.
The exhibition increases the complexity of this scenario by rescuing experiences that through precarious means such as serigraphy, performance art, video, poetic action, experimental theatre and participatory architecture, stood as forms of resistance. These practices can be grouped into three clusters: the visual policies triggered by social movements such as the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo in Argentina, and Women for Life in Chile; sexual disobediences, including experiences of transvestism and corporalities that challenge the traditional construction of gender; the underground scene which, through music, party and a "do it yourself" ethics, built micro-communities that allowed for social ties that had been broken by terror, to be restored.
All these experiences have led to the humane way to go astray, tensing and deforming the humanist conception of the individual, and allowing for new subjectivities to arise, putting in crisis the known forms of existence, transforming thus, the ways in which we understand and make counter-hegemonic politics.