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Luis Camnitzer

Recent Work


Insults, 2009/2014 Vinyl

Insults, 2009/2014
Installation view: EVA International Biennial Of Visual Art CLG, Limerick City Gallery, Limerick, Ireland, 2014. Photo: Eamonn O’Mahony, Deirdre A. Power

Despertar o muerte, 2018

Despertar o muerte, 2018
Installation view: Luis Camnitzer: Cinco Piezas, Parque de La Memoria, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2018. 

Symmetrical Jails, 2014

Symmetrical Jails, 2014
Etching in 7 parts
22 2/8 x 29 5/8 in (56.52 x 75.56 cm)


Last Words, 2008

Last Words, 2008
Archival digital print in 6 parts
66 x 44 in (167.64 x 111.76 cm)

Library, 2006 Bricks, mortar, and metal

Library, 2006
Bricks, mortar, and metal

Territorio Libre, 2018

Territorio Libre, 2018
Razor wire and projection
Dimensions variable

Silence is the night of the word, 2020

Silence is the night of the word, 2020
Digital projection
Dimensions variable

Timelanguage, 2016, Xerox toner on laid paper in 14 parts

Timelanguage, 2016

Xerox toner on laid paper in 14 parts

12.25h x 18.75w in (31.11h x 47.63w cm) each
Edition of 12 + 1 AP

Dibujos en el Agua, 2012/2016, Bowl, 44 glass bottles and 5 printed texts

Dibujos en el Agua, 2012/2016

Bowl, 44 glass bottles and 5 printed texts

Dimensions variable

Seven Virtues, 2014, Pigment print in 7 parts

Seven Virtues, 2014

Pigment print in 7 parts

14h x 11w in (35.56h x 27.94w cm)

Edition of 5

Bereaved Bird Bit Bloody-faced Bohemian, 2017, Mixed media

Bereaved Bird Bit Bloody-faced Bohemian, 2017

Mixed media

Dimensions variable

Please look away, 2015, Adhesive vinyl

Please look away, 2015

Adhesive vinyl

Dimensions variable

Compass, 2003, Inkjet print

Compass, 2003

Inkjet print

30h x 24w in (76.20h x 60.96w cm)

Memorial, 2009, Pigment prints in 195 parts

Memorial, 2009

Pigment prints in 195 parts

11.75h x 9.50w in (29.85h x 24.13w cm)

Installation view, Alexander Gray Associates, 2010

The Office, 2000-2001, Mixed Media

The Office, 2000-2001

Mixed Media


Notes to Myself #5, 2008, Archival digital print on paper

Notes to Myself #5, 2008

Archival digital print on paper

10.75h x 42.25w in (27.31h x 107.32w cm)

Documenta Projekt, 2002, Mixed Media

Documenta Projekt, 2002

Mixed Media

Camnitzer has refined his interest in the associative potential of text and image in the past two decades, while continuing to question the dynamics of political power and the systems that uphold it.

In Last Words (2008) Camnitzer prints death row prisoners’ final statements, invoking only those with the word “love,” exposing our collective indifference to violence enacted upon individuals by the state. A similar empathy is foundational to Memorial (2009), in which Camnitzer creates a version of the Montevideo phonebook that includes the names of the still missing individuals who disappeared during the Uruguayan Dictatorship (1973–1985). In Please Look Away (2015), overlapping sentences written by the artist incorporate terms from an article on the torture of Abu Ghraib prisoners during the Iraq War. The phrases are imprinted and repeated on long strips of adhesive tape that are installed up, down, and across the floors and walls of the gallery. Their arresting visual impact manifests the confrontational impact of language, particularly in the context of interrogation. Despertar o Muerte (2018) its titular phrase (meaning “Awaken or die”) onto various national flags from Latin America. Their installation at half-mast on flagpoles in public spaces beckons the urgency of political engagement.

Other works made by Camnitzer since 2000 recontextualize familiar tools and objects. Compass (2003) is a compass that points south rather than north, alluding to the history of colonialism. Notes to Myself (2008) challenges conventions of notetaking and the organization of ideas through language by distorting lined paper. Writing is also the focus of Symmetrical Jails (2014). In each of seven prints, Camnitzer stacked and mirrored the letters of the word “symmetry” to create seven unique characters. He uses the United Nations official languages Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish, and adds German.

Timelanguage (2016) also reflects Camnitzer’s enduring commitment to expanding the possibilities of printmaking. Visual markers of accumulation and addition signify both the passage of time and accumulation of information. Of the work, Camnitzer states, “I see the ideal lasting work of art (one I’ve never made) as the best and most elegant—in terms of its economy—solution to an interesting problem, to the point that it establishes a new paradigm or causes a paradigm shift. … I don’t believe in absolute and eternal values. I believe in this interpretative dialogue that keeps changing over time.”