(En) countering gender violence and impunity: The art of Teresa Margolles and Regina Jose Galindo
In the last decade of the 20th century and the first decade of the 21st century both Mexico and Guatemala witnessed unprecedented statistics of attacks against women. Numerous young girls and middle aged women suffered under conditions of domestic violence and many more women disappeared from their communities. Some of their bodies were found and many remain to be discovered. Evidence shows these women had a tragic end. Several bodies were mutilated, raped, and many more tortured. It is within a context of misogyny, patriarchal, and machista societies that corruption has allowed perpetrators to attack women with impunity. This thesis underscores the importance of political art in the 21st century. Teresa Margolles's "Cimbra" (Formwork) (2006) and Regina José Galindo's "No perdemos nada con nacer" (We lose nothing in being born) (2000) demonstrate the potential of art to consider, change, and reflect upon women's lives. Margolles's and Galindo's pieces further constitute a protest against their governments and the communities that have suffered the series of crimes. By creating "Cimbra" and "No perdemos nada con nacer," the artists unite their voices with the women who protest on the streets fighting for justice for their disappeared and murdered daughters and sisters. This thesis argues that with "Cimbra" Teresa Margolles creates a memorial to victims of gender violence by using found and collected objects, and in "No perdemos nada con nacer," Regina José Galindo engages viewers in a provocative performance where she forces them to witness and acknowledge gender violence.