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Ideas para Monumentos en homenaje a las heroínas y los héroes desconocidos

El Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes

July 2020

Luis Camnitzer, Monument to the Unknown Gravedigger, El Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (National Museum of Fine Arts), 2020

Luis Camnitzer, Monument to the Unknown Gravedigger, El Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (National Museum of Fine Arts), 2020

Press Release

Ideas para Monumentos en homenaje a las heroínas y los héroes desconocidos (Ideas for Monuments in homage to heroines and unknown heroes) virtual exhibition at El Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes.

The intsitution's press release follows: 

The National Museum of Fine Arts is pleased to present a virtual collective exhibition organized, during the months of confinement due to the global pandemic, by the artist and theorist Luis Camnitzer. Through his Facebook account, Camnitzer made an open call in which he proposed to pay tribute to unknown heroes and heroines of society by questioning the usual process of the election, financing and construction of official monuments. The result brings together 47 works made by important artists from different latitudes - such as Italy, Guatemala, the Philippines, Spain, El Salvador, the United States, Panama, Kurdistan, Cuba, Germany, Uruguay, Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, Nicaragua, Sweden, Puerto Rico. , Costa Rica, Brazil and Argentina–, which respond in a unique and original way to the artist's proposal, proposing various approaches to the subject.

Andres Duprat
Director of the National Museum of Fine Arts

The collection of projects presented here is the product of an open call made public in July 2020 via Facebook and some emails to artist friends. The idea arose during the months of confinement produced by the covid-19. The possibility of creating monuments to unknown heroes is not new, and among the precedents that were communicated to us when the call reproduced here was made public, we must mention the "Monument to the Unknown Ice Cream Maker", which Javier Tellez made on October 25, 2001 in Valencia , Venezuela. Ice cream makers with their cart took turns on a pedestal, and the mayor of Valencia proclaimed the date as "Ice Cream Day".

Luis Camnitzer
Artist and theorist

On "Ideas for Monuments in tribute to the heroines and the unsung heroes"

The image generally associated with the hero is male and in military uniform. Monuments celebrate individuals who died in the service of often dubious causes created by powerful interests. However, most of the heroic acts are anonymous and for the benefit of our fellow men, often questioning the legitimacy of those who finance the monuments. This call is to fill a cultural gap and celebrate those members of society who are not honored despite being indispensable in curbing abuses of power, in caring for our mental and physical health, and in general in maintenance of our well-being as a human species within a habitable environment.

* See here all the images of the virtual exhibition:

Participating artists:

Esther Aldaz (Spain), Rosa Barba (Italy), José Bedia (Cuba), Luis Camnitzer (Uruguay), Osvaldo Cibils (Uruguay), Claudia DeMonte (United States), Sam Durant (United States), Magdalena Fernández (Venezuela), Beatriz Red Star Fletcher (United States), Harrell Fletcher (United States), martinafischer13 (Germany), Louis Hock (United States), Isidro López-Aparicio (Spain), Georg Lutz (Germany), Roberto Jacoby (Argentina), Marco Maggi (Uruguay), David Enrique Martínez Guerrero (Colombia), Ed McGowin (United States), Melendi & Rennó (Brazil), Jason Mena (Puerto Rico), Sylvia Meyer (Uruguay), Michael Müller (Germany), Alicia Mihai Gazcue (Uruguay), Priscilla Monge (Costa Rica), Jonas Monib (Germany), Ronald Morán (El Salvador), Cristina Ochoa (Colombia), Renato Orara (Philippines), Nadin Ospina (Colombia), Francisco Papas Fritas (Chile), Jenny Perlin (United States), Jenny Polak (United States), Liliana Porter (Argentina), Angel Poyón (Guatemala), Raúl Quintanilla Armijo (Nicaragua), Leo Ramos (Argentina), Angelo Ricciardi (Italy), Kay Rosen (United States), Danny Ruiz (El Salvador), Walid Siti (Kurdistan), Luis Sosa (Spain), Tamara Stuby (Argentina), Alina Tenser (United States), Sophie Tottie (Sweden), Ana Tiscornia (Uruguay), José Toirac (Cuba), Humberto Vélez (Panama)

About Luis Camnitzer:

Uruguayan artist, born in Germany in 1937. Lives in New York since 1964. Emeritus Professor at the State University of New York. Between 1999 and 2006, he was a curator for emerging artists at The Drawing Center, New York. He was the pedagogical curator of the 6th MERCOSUR Biennial and pedagogical curator of the Iberé Camargo Foundation, Porto Alegre, Brazil, from 2007 to 2010. Until 2012, he was a pedagogical advisor to the Patty Phelps de Cisneros Collection. Co-founder and co-director of ACE (Art as Education), he prepared the manual for teachers of the Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Jumex Museum in Mexico City for the exhibition “Under the same sun”, and collaborated in the Manual for the UES sustainable school in Lo Zárate, Chile. She works in the coordination of the Barrios Project of the Photography Center of the Municipal Administration of Montevideo.