Indignity and resistance in the foothills of the Andes | María Verónica San Martín


This Artist book is a research project based  on one of the most symbolic and emblematic torture centers during the dictatorship in Chile called Villa Grimaldi. Through testimonies of survivors, visual archives, conversations with family members of the Disappeared, and the support of Villa Grimaldi’s board.

The book has two written sections, and one illustrated. The written part comprehends an introduction of Villa Grimaldi; the list of the victims that were murdered at the center; names of DINA collaborators; testimony of victim, Gladys Diaz; and several quotations of other survivors taken from the center’s archives. The technique used is mono prints etching and screenprint, and the shape of the book resembles a circular accordion. On one side of the book—the front side— several illustrations represent prisoners while tortured by DINA agents, showing also the solidarity between the victims.  On the other side—the back—a long print of the Andes Cordillera, which surrounded the Villa, is depicted with glass beads.


In an effort to show what happened both inside and outside the center, the structure of the book unfolds and converts into an illusion of the inside, while in the outside the figure of the Andes reflects how life continued no matter what occurred inside the wall. In the inside of the circular shape, some tortures techniques are depicted, such as the following: Road of Death; corvi houses; railroad tracks; blindfolded way; and forced labors.

Additional information
Weight 2 kg
Dimensions 25.5 × 33.5 × 3 cm
About the author

About the author

María Verónica San Martín (b. 1981, Santiago, Chile) is a New York-based artist working in printmaking, artists books, installation, sculpture, and performance. She was a studio artist at the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, NYC, an artist-in-residence at Art OMI, Ghent, NY and a Scholar at The Center for Book Arts in NYC. San Martín addresses memory as a pivotal factor for the understanding of the neoliberal, globalized present, turning recently to the subject matter of the Chilean dictatorship’s violence (1973-1990), vis-à-vis the United States and Nazism’s involvement in that violence. She has had solo and group exhibitions in the United States, Chile and the Netherlands.

San Martin has been performing and lecturing her Moving Memorial series and Dignidad project at international museums, galleries, and public libraries and schools since 2016. She was recently awarded with two Fondart grants from the National Council for the Culture and the Arts of Chile. Her work is part of more than 50 collections including the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the MET, NYC, the Walker Art Center, MN, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, among others.

Author: MarÍa Verónica San Martín

Techniques: Monotypes, silkscreen with glass beats, inject

Format: Accordion book, Japanese binding, long stitch

Publisher: self-publication

Dimensions: 25,5 x 35,5 x 3 cm closed; 33,5 x 330 cm opened.

Print run: 50

Language: español / inglés

Collections: Centre Pompidou, Paris; Centro por la Paz Villa Grimaldi, Chile; Klingspor Museum, Alemania; Stanford University Libraries, CA; Library of Congress (LoC), DC; The University of New Mexico (UNM), NM; Columbia Special Collection, NY; Amherst College Collection, MA; Scripps College, Denison Library, CA; Smith College, MA; University of California at Irvine (UCI); Bainbridge Museum of Art; School of the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), Boston Tufts University; University of Delaware Library; Colecciones privadas.

Year of publication: 2015


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