National Museum of Mexican Art 2009

Rastros y Crónicas: Women of Juárez
National Museum of Mexican Art
Chicago, IL
Opening: October 16, 2009




National Museum of Mexican Art
Mujeres de Juarez Exhibition

Mexican movies and movie posters often depict the salacious, wonton woman being seduced, or sexually used and abused by the dashing, dominant male. The man watches intently as the woman displays her body, inviting him to pleasure. But the Women of Juarez are not movie stars and they did not invite “men to pleasure.” They are young working women that were taken hostage, raped, and killed for perverse and angry pleasure.

Is it possible that media has a place in this grisly story of pain and loss? Can media – movies and movie posters – effect the way that men understand their relationship and responsibilities to women and family?

In these gruesome acts of violence, men have chosen to dominate, abuse, and kill hundreds of women. Over 500 violent deaths are proof that women are seen as nothing more than sexual victims and a way for men to experience a fantasy of seduction and aggression. Have the men of Juarez lost respect for women, mothers and daughters?

In “Courtesana” I have manipulated two Mexican movie posters, adding pictures of the victims, families and protestors, to draw attention to the over-sexualized imagery of Mexican media, the loss of dignity for women, the manipulative nature of seduction, and the aggression and hatred inherent in rape.

“Courtesana,” a mixed media collage, is placed on a manufactured white shelf indicative of the silence of international media having “shelved” this important issue. This shelf is also reminiscent of classical casket designs and the silence of the headstones on the graves of the victims.


Artist statement Censored