At the PAC, the Crude South America of Teresa Margolles

A soap bubble floats through the air: visitors smile, walk, following the dance. A bubble bursts, its traces rest on the skin. The idyllic is only an appearance: the bubbles were made with water that was used to wash the bodies of murdered people in the obituary of Ciudad Juàrez, Messico. “For me, an obituary is a thermometer of a society,” explains Teresa Margolles, who, before becoming an artist, worked as a Forensic Scientist in various countries in South America: “Whatever happens inside an obituary is what happens outside: The way people die shows me what’s happening in a city.” And in Ciudad Juàrez, deaths seem to occur with increasing violence: the violence among drug traffickers represents a massacre without end, innocent people are drawn into the conflict daily, young women disappear, raped, beaten, murdered. The obituary houses four giant refrigerators, capable of holding 120 cadavers each. Using installations, videos and performances with stunning immediacy, Margolles puts us in contact with horrors that we could never imagine, with the unknown victims of violence that is lacerating so many cities in Latin America. When we think of South America, often we think of colourful and ancient traditions, without being aware of the pain that is so prevalent there today. This is the message of Pajharu/Sobre la Sangre, an immense canvas adorned with Aymara designs, which mask the blood of ten women who were killed, wrapped in the 10 sheets that make up the work after their deaths.
Francesca Grego - © 2018 for Bulgari Hotel Milano