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ABOUT CHANGE in Latin America and the Caribean

EL CAMBIO en América Latina y el Caribe



El Salvador

El Salvador, Born 1983

Mauricio Esquivel graduated in fine arts from the University of El Salvador (UES) in 2008. He has shown his works in several international exhibitions, including the X Cuenca Biennial, Ecuador (2009); the VII Central American Isthmus Visual Arts Biennial (2010); and the 31st Pontevedra Art Biennial (2010). He has also shown his works in several venues in Central America, including the Metropolitan Cultural Center in Guatemala, the Museum of Man in Honduras, the Art Museum of El Salvador (MARTE), and the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design in Costa Rica. Esquivel has been awarded several honors, including the X Premio de Arte Joven [X Young Art


José Martí and George Washington, 2009 Sculpture 18 x 15 x 15 cm 7 x 5 7/8 x 5 7/8 in

Prize] from Spain’s Cultural Center in San Salvador; second place at Valoarte, in Costa Rica; and first place in painting at the Festival Fuerza Joven [Youth Force Festival], organized by the Youth Department of El Salvador. He has been the recipient of art residencies at the Batiscafo program in Cuba and at ESPIRA /La Espora Advanced School of Art in Nicaragua. According to critic Clara Astiasarán, in his more recent productions Mauricio Esquivel “has transformed coins—currency, money—not only into the concrete material of his work but into an ironic symbolic capital.” Esquivel uses currency to explore social issues related to migration, colonialism, and war. Since 2001 El Salvador has been forced to adopt the US dollar as its currency. The José Marti and George Washington pair is part of a series entitled Displacement Line, in which Esquivel cuts holes into US 25 cent coins with different forms and figures that challenge the monetary value of currency as opposed to that of social “capital.” Esquivel’s works call attention to the fact that “dollarization” has contributed to the poverty and violence that persist in his country. | V.G.D. / I.A Untitled, 2010 Digital photo 22 x 33 cm 8 3/4 x 13 in

This group of artists started working together as part of a visibility strategy that does not exclude their individual work. Their need for analysis and debate through their collaborative efforts has driven these artists, who recognize their alliances as essential to their growth in an artistic environment with limited possibilities. The background of their collaboration goes back to the Artificio collective, to which many of these artists gravitated, intent on studying and analyzing their place in the present world of art. Artificio was dissolved by consensus after their first—and last—exhibition entitled Tregua para el Aburrimiento [A Truce for Boredom] in 2009. Some of Artificio’s former members still work together and invite other artists to participate in shared projects. The artistic proposal currently shown by this collective is the photographic documentation of their piece entitled El Pasajero B.H.H. [Passenger B.H.H.], which was exhibited at the VII Central American Isthmus Visual Arts Biennial (2010). The piece is a hollow cinderblock made up of human bones, marble, and white concrete; it alludes to the psychosocial consequences of violence and the dynamics of the relation among its three protagonists: victim, victimizer, and viewer.

The work seeks to generate a reflection on how we are building the foundations of our social future, and on the presence of death, illegality, and impunity as recurring phenomena that become part of our daily lives. Six of these cinderblocks traveled throughout Latin America, entrusted to friends and colleagues who received them and used them as a symbolic foundation for the future of their own societies. | V.G.D.


Profile for Mauricio  Esquivel

About Change  

In Latin America and the Caribbean

About Change  

In Latin America and the Caribbean