Politics as Art in Luis Camnitzer by Mari Carmen Ramírez
An exhibition of this scope could not have happened without the efforts and assistance of many individuals and institutions. The Lehman College Art Gallery would like to extend special thanks to all, beginning with the artist, Luis Camnitzer, for allowing us to present his visual and written works. The gallery is also indebted to Dr. Mari Carmen Ramirez and Gerardo Mosquera for their insightful essays on Luis Camnitzer's work. Further thanks are offered to: Selby Hickey; Dr. Ricardo R. Fernandez; Louis Shaw and Nexus Contemporary Art Center; Robert Thurmer and Cleveland State University; Charles Merewether; Lasse Antonssen; Jeannette Ingberman; Yeshiva University Art Museum; Janice Rooney; Joseph Montague; Kathy Duncan; Walter Krochmal; Dr. Emita B. Hill; Nancy Cooper; George Corbin; Nina Sundell; Susan Hoeltzel; Mary Ann Siano; Renato Leonel; Anne Perryman; Michelle Forsten; Julio Cruz Aldano; Daniel Shure; Lenny Weisberger; Mark Todd; Virginia Cupiola; Kathleen Lefkowitz; Alicia Ponce; Leandros Papathanasiou and Athens Printing; The New Art Examiner; and the trustees, docents and volunteers of The Lehman College Art Gallery.
This exhibition was made possible by a grant from the New York State
Council on the Arts. Further support for this exhibition and for the Gallery's
education programs was provided by: the Robert Lehman Foundation; The
Andy Warhol Foundation; The Department of Cultual Affairs in cooperation
with the Bronx Borough President's Office; Friends of the Lehman College
Art Gallery; the Aaron Diamond Foundation through the N.Y.C. Board of
Education; Citibank; the Bronx Council on the Arts; and the Herbert and
Edith Lehman Foundation. The Lehman College Art Gallery gratefully acknowledges
the support of all.
Luis Camnitzer and The Lehman College Art Gallery also wish to express
appreciation to Art Matters, Inc. for sponsoring Mr. Camnitzer to create
a special, limited edition artwork of fifty hand-altered, "censored" versions
of this catalogue.
Art and Politics, 1990
Luis Camnitzer was born in Germany and grew up in Uruguay and is a citizen
of that country; he has lived in the United States for over twenty years.
Like his life, his art is grounded in three continents and reflects his
transcultural experience. For Camnitzer, political awareness is crucial
to understanding one's environment and making strategies for ethnicallybased
actions. Art is his instrument of choice to implement those strategies.
Conceptual in nature, his work is powerful and evocative; it is often
humorous, and sometimes deeply disturbed Always, he challenges and implicates
The Discovery of Geometry, 1978
6 sentences describing visual situations,
Series of six drawings made by a child
This is a mirror, you are a written sentence.
Telescope, engraved glass, 4 x 16 x 2 1/4
Envelope, portfolio of ten etchings and rubber
Fragment of a Cloud, stencil on cotton wool, 13
Horizon, etching, 26 x 25 inches, ed 50.
Che, etching, 26 x 25 inches, ed. 50
Landscape/Portrait, etching, 26 x 25 inches,
Bricks, maquette for an installation, photo-
Leftovers, adhesive labels placed at random to
Third Degree Burn, stenciled burn on paper,
Dictionary, Page 1, etching, 26 x 25 inches,
Topological Change of a Word Sequence, ball
Isoword Lines, ink on paper, 11 x 14 inches.
Constellations, 8 silkscreen prints, 20 x 22
Living Room, fragment of an installation origi-
Massacre of Puerto Montt, fragment of an in-
Leftovers, installation of 80 bandaged boxes,
Common Grave, engraved aluminum, 24 x 28
Content, 2 Clouds, etching, 26 x 25 inches, ed.
Content, 1 Wall, etching, 26 x 25 inches, ed. 50.
Cambodia, silkscreen, 22 x 30 inches, ed. 10.
Three Heads, silkscreen, 22 x 30 inches, ed. 10.
Mail Drawing, package remailed to describe a
Original Rubbing and Its Copies, 11 x 16
Signature by the Inch, silkscreen and pencil,
Signature by the Inch, silkscreen and pencil,
A Text Printed Twice On Canvas, silkscreen and
The Socialization of a Work of Art, series of
Bottle, pencil rubbing on paper, 11 x 14 inches.
Perimeter, brass, glass and wood, 14 x 10 x 2
Moebius Strip, engraved aluminum plates,
Crushed Coca-Cola Bottle, glass in glass bottle.
Time-Distance, brass, glass, wood and compass,
Three Objects, aluminum and brass, 10 x 24
A that Covers the Word that Names it, five
Branch of an Oak Tree, brass, glass, wood and
Dottie Attie, collaboration with Ray Johnson,
Piece of Glass or Plastic..., brass, glass or plas-
Borderline, brass, etched glass and wood,
Drawing by Picasso in a Single Line, brass,
The Book of Wishful Thoughts and Realities,
Sifter, (a mechanism for killing undesirable
The Infinite Rays of the Sun, photoetched brass
Transmutation of Paint into Aluminum, brass,
Two Parallel Lines, installation originally ex-
The Tool and if its Work, pencil and pencil draw-
Silence/Repression, ink on paper, 22 x 30
The Craftsmanship of Landscape, etching,
The Discovery of Geometry, etching, 30 x 22
The Threat of the Mirror, two facing plaques,
Victim's View, brass, glass, wood and laminated
The Form Generating the Content, brass, glass
Italian Rivers, epoxy and photoetched brass, 10
Landscape as an Attitude, laminated photo-
Twelve Pages, installation with candle, lamp-
Arbitrary Objects and their Titles wall installa-
The Path, tiles and pencil, 180 x 36 inches.
The Archaeology of a Spell, installation with
The Reenactment of an Inquiry, photoetching,
The Superstition of Reality, brass, glass and
Fragments of a Novel, installation of 13 pieces
Painting under Hypnosis, 16 laminated sheets
Questions and Answers under Hypnosis, 10
German Signature Street Sign, enamel on metal,
The Photograph, laminated photograph, 11 x 14
The Reflection of Blasphemy, four color photo-
The Shadow of the Horizon, four color photo-
Lego Architecture, set of eight photomontages,
From the Uruguayan Torture, four etchings
From the Uruguayan Torture, wall installation
Agent Orange Series, four etchings from a set
Fabrication Sustained Memory, ( 1988 Venice
He Organized Things as He Saw Them (1988
They Found That Reality Had Intruded Upon
The House Was a Fiction..., (1988 Venice Bien-
Objects Were Covered by Their Own Image,
Reflections Occurred Selectively, (1988 Venice
Dollar Shelf, wood and mud, 8 x 30 x 5 inches.
The Cake (from the Zanoobia Series), styro-
The Souvenirs (from the Zanoobia Series), soap
The Coffee Cup, (from the Zanoobia Series),
Reality as a Temporary Setup, wall installation
Knock Knock, Who Is There, fax machine,
The Laments of Exile, laminated photograph
Tienanmen, brass and epoxy, 5 x 8 inches.
Captain Riley (from the San Patricio Series),
Art and Politics, photograph, 12 1/2 x 11