• David Pérez Karmadavis, La manada (The Crowd), 2009

    David Pérez Karmadavis, La manada (The Crowd), 2009

  • David Pérez Karmadavis, Identificación (Identification), 2007

    David Pérez Karmadavis, Identificación (Identification), 2007

  • David Pérez Karmadavis, Estructura completa (Complete Structure), 2010

    David Pérez Karmadavis, Estructura completa (Complete Structure), 2010


firstsite, Colchester

10 November 2012 - 10 March 2013

The exhibition focuses on the work of David Pérez Karmadavis, a Guatemala-based artist who was born in the Dominican Republic in 1976. Karmadavis is a talented painter and illustrator who is perhaps best-known for his performance and video work, including Estructura completa (Complete Structure), which was shown at the Venice Biennale in 2011.

This video, like many of Karmadavis’s works, focuses on the deep tensions, collaborative linkages and contradictory dynamics characterising the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic before and after the 2010 earthquake. After moving to Guatemala City in 2006 Karmadavis has also explored the human impact of Guatemala’s civil war (1960-1996) and the challenges of the country’s ongoing process of political, legal and cultural transition. Identificación (Identification), which raises awareness of continued killings in Guatemala City and the need for justice.

Karmadavis: Art, Justice, Transition
has been guest curated by Dr Sanja Bahun in her capacity as Co-convenor of the Essex Transitional Justice Network (ETJN) and Professor Maria Cristina Fumagalli, both from the Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS). Professor Fumagalli, is preparing a book on the literary and cultural history of the border between the Haiti and Dominican Republic funded by the Arts and Humanties Research Council and a Leverhulme Research Fellowship. Dr Bahun is a Senior Lecturer with expertise in international modernism. She is coordinating research activities in the Arts and Transitional Justice section.

Accompanying the exhibition is a series of ‘art in context’ sessions led by students from the School of Law, the Human Rights Centre, and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in the Humanities which will run daily from 2-3pm from 19-30 November and 25 February-8 March. The students will be located in the University Space to contextualize the artworks and engage with visitors. David Pérez Karmadavis will be ESCALA’s artist-in-residence in February/March 2013 to coincide with an international symposium focused on issues of justice, transition and migration and the ways in which art can intervene in social and political developments.


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  • Lewis Gardens, High Street
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