Pablo Ortiz Monasterio
November 3, 2016 - November 27, 2016
Pablo Ortiz Monasterio
On September 26, 2014, 43 male students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College went missing in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico. They had been on their way to Mexico City after taking over multiple buses, a yearly tradition to attend a march commemorating a 1968 student massacre in the country’s capital. In his photographic series Desaparecen?, Pablo Ortiz Monasterio asserts that this disappearance and the subsequent cover-up of police involvement by the Mexican government should be a global concern. For this body of work, the artist brings together photographs shot in various locations around the world that depict violence, darkness, pain, despair, and solidarity. He then intervenes within each frame, overlaying handwritten text on these images to ask questions such as “donde están? (where are they?).” Other images are covered with numbers (one through 43), and many faces have been removed and replaced with the letter “A” for “Ayotzinapa.” By creating this new context for his images, Ortiz Monasterio suggests an interconnected history of violence that moves beyond national borders while also insisting that these missing students remain alive within our collective memory.
Pablo Ortiz Monasterio (b. 1952) is a photographer, editor, curator, publisher, and educator based in Mexico City. Ortiz Monasterio studied economics at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and photography at the London College of Communication, University of the Arts London. He later earned a Master’s degree in photography at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana. In 1994, he founded the Centro de la Imagen in Mexico City, a venue for the education, discussion, and promotion of Mexican photography. Ortiz Monasterio has had solo photography exhibitions in Museo de Arte Moderno, Centro de la Imagen, and Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico, and in museums and galleries around the world. In 2001 he was the curator for the PhotoEspaña festival in Madrid, and he recently curated Frida Kahlo: Her Photos, which toured in the United States, Brazil, and Australia. Ortiz Monasterio has also served as an editor on various book projects and for periodicals, including Río de Luz and Luna Córnea. His monograph Desaparecen? was published in 2016 by Nazraeli Press.