press release

June 29–October 1, 2023

Ana Gallardo in collaboration with María Us
(I Look for You Under Another Name)
Guatemalan Journal 1987–2023

Argentinian artist Ana Gallardo is the recipient of the second edition of the Julius Baer Art Prize for Latin American Female Artists, the first prize of its kind in Latin America. Her project titled (I Look for You Under Another Name): Guatemalan Journal 1987–2023 is exhibited at the Bogotá Museum of Modern Art—MAMBO from June 29 to October 1, 2023.

Ana Gallardo recounts her experience alongside María Us, a Quiché Guatemalan woman and human rights advocate, as they both actively participated in the Guatemalan Civil War from 1987 to 1990.

Some years ago, Gallardo sought former female combatants with whom she bonded in Guatemala. Throughout this process, she has encountered fragments of testimonies that shed light on the violence inflicted upon these women by military and paramilitary groups, encompassing pregnant women, girls, and grandmothers.

For the exhibition at MAMBO, Gallardo produced a new series of her distinctive charcoal drawings, incorporating excerpts from María Us’s testimonial writings inscribed throughout the composition. The convergence of the artist’s and activist’s voices in these drawings blurs the boundaries between reality and fiction, art and life, creating a captivating fusion.

In addition, the exhibition includes a compelling display of two videos simultaneously playing on ten monitors of various sizes, which intricately weave together historical and geographical narratives within the Guatemalan context. The first video sheds light on the territory where María Us and other indigenous women negotiated with the Guatemalan government to secure their land rights. The second one showcases Gallardo’s personal narrative as she recounts her connection to this unfamiliar territory.

Eugenio Viola, chief curator at MAMBO, states “Intertwining visual and verbal texts, art, and life, Gallardo recreates an immersive, painful fresco, reminding us, from a specific perspective—the Guatemalan civil war—of the ethical implications of social violence related to racial and gender discrimination, as well as human rights abuses that are still so common in our contemporary society.”

(I Look for You Under Another Name). Guatemalan Journal 1987–2023 brings together the testimonies of women experiencing the horrors of war, exposing the heinous violence inflicted upon their bodies by armed groups. This project reaffirms the ideology of resistance inherent in Gallardo’s artistic practice, which consistently explores the lives and narratives of socially invisible people. It highlights the profound connection between her artistic exploration and the specific context in which it unfolds.