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"Gerardo Suter: Labyrinth of Memory"
2000-02-12 until 2000-04-30
Austin Museum of Art
Austin, TX, USA United States of America

Gerardo Suter: Labyrinth of Memory, a mid-career survey, presents the work of Gerardo Suter, one of Latin America s most important young photographers. In his photographs and mixed-media installations, Suter employs themes and subjects drawn from pre-Columbian, myths and cultures to create powerful and haunting metaphors of contemporary Latin American identity. The exhibition,the artist s first in Texas,will include approximately thirty works, ranging from early compositions of enigmatic landscapes and ruins, to larger prints of more dramatic compositions featuring nude figures with masks and other props, to recent monumental installations that combine photography with video and performance elements.

Born in Argentina in 1957, Gerardo Suter has lived in Mexico since 1970. Largely self-taught as a photographer, he emerged as one of Mexico s most original artistic voices in the early 1980s. Suter has become an extremely influential figure throughout Latin America, first for his move away from straight photography towards more expressive manipulated or staged tableaux, and more recently for his experimental combinations of photographic images with video, installation, and performance. His first mature work explored themes of memory, nostalgia, and the persistence of the past in mysterious scenes of pre-Columbian architectural remains. Suter s major series of photographs of the late 1980s and early 1990s pictured stylized nudes with a variety of elements, including masks, animal skulls, stone carvings, agave spines, seashells, and mud. These startling and compelling images seem to suggest, in the words of Austin Museum of Art Director Elizabeth Ferrer, the simultaneously fearful and tantalizingly sensual immediacy of Latin America s pre-Hispanic inheritance.

In his more recent works Gerardo Suter has pushed the boundaries of straight photography, printing on sheets of transparent acetate, which are often combined to create enormous multi-panel images. He has incorporated these into room-sized installations along with sound and video elements, encompassing the viewer in enclosed, multi-sensory, and ritual environments. The depicted figures, less explicitly pre-Columbian in their references than those in the earlier series, have become more universal in their emotional charge. Suter s latest installations evoke the primal forces of life and death, and the dualities of human existence.

Gerardo Suter: Labyrinth of Memory is organized by the Americas Society, New York, and is curated by Mary Schneider Enríquez, a Boston-based independent curator and specialist in twentieth-century Mexican art and photography. The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated bilingual catalogue, available in the Museum Store, with essays by Mary Schneider Enríquez and Olivier Debroise, a leading scholar of twentieth-century Mexican photography. The Members Preview Reception has been funded by Liberty Bank.

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