Friday, February 29, 2008

Ana Maria Pacheco

From my review of Ana Maria Pacheco’s sculptural installation “Dark Night of the Soul” at Framingham’s Danforth Museum:
In the darkness stands a crowd of agitated people. When you walk between them, at their center you find a man, naked except for a black bag over his head. He would easily be the tallest in the room if he stood up. But he is kneeling, with his hands pulled behind him and tied to a post. And he is shot full of arrows.

So it goes in Ana Maria Pacheco's haunting sculptural installation "Dark Night of the Soul" at the Danforth Museum. Though completed in 1999 and inspired by the figure of St. Sebastian, this wood passion play viscerally conjures up the specter of American torture committed in the name of the "war on terror," from Abu Ghraib to CIA waterboarding. Other artists have incisively addressed this subject; Jenny Holzer's screenprints of government documents currently at Mass MoCA and in Massachusetts College of Art and Design's "War Stories" exhibit come to mind. But few make you feel so caught up in the middle of it.
Read the rest here.

“Ana Maria Pacheco: Dark Night of the Soul,” Danforth Museum, 123 Union Ave., Framingham, Nov. 9, 2007, to May 18, 2008.

Pictured: Details of Ana Maria Pacheco’s “Dark Night of the Soul.” Photos copyright The National Gallery, London.


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