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MSU Broad new exhibition spotlights conceptualism in Latin America

The Michigan State University Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, or MSU Broad, introduces a new exhibition “The Edge of Things: Dissident Art Under Repressive Regimes,” on view beginning June 1.

The exhibition gathers experimental artworks from the 1960s through the late 1980s made under military dictatorships in Argentina, Brazil and Chile, and features 16 artists and two artist collectives who used art-making as an exercise in freedom and dissent. 

Facing the persecution, torture, disappearance and murder of dissident citizens, artists approached the body, as well as the street, as political spaces to express resistance to oppressive social, political and cultural conditions. Their diverse visual strategies and actions that bordered on activism were a way to communicate, interrogate and make visible what was being pushed to the edges of official state narratives.

“Artists were questioning their role in society and felt a need to create art that had a social and political impact,” said MSU Broad associate curator Carla Acevedo-Yates. “This exhibition evidences the power of art to mobilize and engage citizens in times of political uncertainty.”

“The Edge of Things: Dissident Art Under Repressive Regimes” showcases video and photographic documentation of performances and public actions, art created from found objects, Mail Art and other works that challenge the institution of art.

The exhibition opens to the public from 6 to 8 p.m. on May 31. The opening night of the exhibition will feature the United States premiere of Margarita Paksa’s “Comunicaciones,” first performed in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1968.

Additional programming through the run of the exhibition will further explore how art can become a call to action, an act of resistance and a reclamation of individual and collective freedom. 

The exhibition will also feature artworks that have never been shown in the United States by the following artists:

  • Dalila Puzzovio (Argentina)
  • Edgardo Antonio Vigo (Argentina)
  • Martha Araújo (Brazil)
  • Victor Gerhard (Brazil)
  • Regina Vater (Brazil)
  • Carlos Leppe (Chile) and 
  • Las Yeguas del Apocalipsis (Chile)

“The Edge of Things: Dissident Art under Repressive Regimes” is organized by the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at MSU and is curated by Carla Acevedo-Yates, associate curator, with support from Georgia Erger, curatorial assistant, Thaís Wenstrom, curatorial intern, and Patrick O’Grady, graduate fellow in history. Support for this exhibition is provided by the Eli and Edythe Broad endowed exhibitions fund and the Center for Studies on Latin American Art.

The exhibition is open to the public until January 2020.