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Sebastian Campos

Terrorism in Peru Illustrated Through Exhibition

By Angel Valdez Jucio sumario, mixed media on wood, 1992.
Photo by: Sebastian Campos      

         In the last twenty years, Peru has been a country in turmoil. This was brought on by years of terrorism and a strong repressive government. Today, in Peru the violence is no longer as apparent, Peruvians are calmer, and Peruvian artists are attempting to create a dialogue with the public in order to reflect on the violence that has occurred.

            A recent trend in Peruvian exhibition programs has focused along the theme of violence and terrorism. This is providing opportunities for new work to emerge and fulfill an important social function, relaying the message that “we must not forget what happened.” The recent history of Peru’s instability has been exposed through the media and literature. Many of these presentations are hosted by universities and they are attended by students, artists, and Peruvians in association with the academic and arts communities. Exhibition organizers believe that by displaying Peruvian artists who use their work as a tool of reflection, the violence will also be exposed through the visual arts. However, the audiences who artists are aiming to access may not be prepared to engage with artwork that expresses statements of terrorism and repression in this way.

            Through the examination of previous exhibitions as well as future ones, this thesis will determine the motivation of these exhibitions and the audiences they attempt to contact. The effectiveness of these presentations on the visual art community as well as general audiences will be studied. A survey will be conducted to decide whether viewers who attended the exhibitions felt they had been educated by the work on display, or if the work caused a reaction at all.


          Sebastian Campos received his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2001. He has been Assistant Director at Maya Polsky Gallery since 1999 and  collaborated with the curatorial group Temporary Services on the project Prisoner Inventions. He interned with the Museum of Fine Arts Houston’s Latin American department on the exhibition Inverted Utopias.


Thesis Advisor: Nicholas Lowe Visiting Artist, Arts Administration

Thesis Reader: Gustavo Buntinx Director General of the Centro Cultural de la Universidad de San Marcos, Lima

Second Reader: Robert Loescher Professor, Goldabelle Macomb Finn Distinguished Chair in Art History, Theory, and Criticism; Director, BFA with Emphasis in Art History, Theory, and Criticism









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