Gloria Evaporada

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Artist year born


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Artwork title translation

Evaporated Gloria

Artwork material

photographic print

Artwork dimensions

height: 35.5cm
width: 28cm

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Eduardo Villanes highlighted the case of the Cantuta massacre, in which nine students and their lecturer were kinapped and killed by death squads during the Alberto Fujimori regime (1990-2000). (1) This museum folio of 10 photographs shows Villanes' methods for expanding the area of reception for his Gloria evaporada project (1994-1995). Following amnesties given to human rights abusers by Alberto Fujimori, Villanes plastered the word “evaporados” (evaporated) constructed from silhouetted hands made from Gloria boxes on a central highway in Lima. Alongside the acquisition of Autoretrato gloria evaporada (1994)and Invitación-objeto (2012), ESCALA also acquired this museum folio. Villanes continues to use urban space intervention in many of his works and this early example both highlighted the case of the Cantuta massacre and brought the artwork to a new audiences. This approach resonates with strategies used in Argentina in the 1960s where the collective project Tucumán Arde used graffiti in public spaces to protest the dictatorship the Juan Carlos Ongania dictatorship and protested the closure of sugar refineries in the Tucumán province of Argentina. ESCALA has archival holdings related to Tucumán Arde.

On 23 June 1995 Villanes extended this body of work with a performance during a protest march. In response to amnesty laws absolving the death squads responsible for la Cantuta and Barrios Altos massacres, human rights organisations marched in Lima to demand justice and protest these impunity laws. Villanes crafted an additional fifty Gloria boxes to be worn by the marching protesters. Villanes handed out pieces of paper explaining the manner in which the police had returned the Cantuta students remains to their relatives. The text invited people to wear a similar box and march to Congress. A series of black and white photographs included in the museum folio acquired by ESCALA depict a sea of protesters wearing Gloria cardboard boxes. One image shows Villanes giving the piece of paper about the performance to an anti-riot police officer. Another image shows the discarded boxes thrown over a police barricade at the Congress building. Through this act of “restaging the return of the remains,” (2) as Villanes puts it, he used participation, protest and activism to give presence and remember the disappeared students and their lecturer in the face of state sponsored forgetting during this period.

1- This text is adapted from a longer texts written for Eduardo Villanes, Autoretrato gloria evaporada (1994) see:

2-"ón de la devolución de los restos", my translation. (accessed 01.05.2018)

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