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BAMPFA’s MATRIX Series Offers Modern Art of South America

The MATRIX series at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) will be presenting two new exhibitions on Friday, January 17th. Both of these exhibitions are bound to offer a taste of the art of South America.

First up from MATRIX 251 is Paz Errazuriz. This exhibition feature works from the Chilean photographer, who since the 1960s is known for honest portrayal of people living on fringes of society. In this very first U.S. exhibition, there will be presentations of selections from two bodies of work: La manzana de Adán (Adam’s Apple) and Boxeadores (Boxers), both created during the 17-year long military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. La manzana de Adán was first exhibited just before the collapse of the regime in 1990. They consisted of works documenting the group of male prostitutes and transvestites, living and working in the Chilean brothels in the 1980s. Meanwhile, Boxeadores documents boxers who fought in neighborhood gymnasiums, revealing both a sport-defined masculinity and community and social spaces.

Next from MATRIX 252 is Anna Maria Maiolino, an Italian-born artist based in São Paulo, Brazil, whose works explores embodied experiences, which are otherwise seen through fragmentation and abstraction. They are a reflection of the artistic movements the artist had become involved in including Figuration, Neo-Concretism and New Brazilian Objectivity. Maiolino’s exhibiton features a group of four videos from the 1970s and early 1980s, originally shot on Super 8 film, and expressing body of expression over experiences of living under an oppressive regime (in other words, they are works made during the Brazilian dictatorship). These works include 1973’s In-Out (Antropofagia), which offers close-up of two mouths attempting to communicate while obstructing various objects, and two subsequent 1974 works X and Y, which shows close-up of faces imperiled by snapping scissors.

Both exhibitions are on view until March 30th.