Ecuador Unframed, Dynamic Art and Radical Democracy in a Guayasamin’s Mural

Faculty Research Grant
Grant Year

This project intents to bridge cultural theory, mathematical analysis, media visualization, and computing programming with the mural Ecuador, a mayor art work by Oswaldo Guayasamín one of the most prominent Latin American artists of the twentieth century. We intend to produce a dynamic, critical, and interactive exhibit (a computer generated remapping of the mural) that unravels the piece’s potential, and visually materializes a novel critique of this cultural artifact.

Through this project, we want to intervene a canonical work in order to release its political potency, currently locked by the fact that the mural is framed, although it was conceived as a movable piece. Furthermore, we want to reconnect the mural with its current political and cultural debates related to the plurinational possibilities of the Ecuadorian Nation(s)-State and the symbolic claim of Guayasamín’s art by indigenous peoples. The mural materializes the necessity to rethink constitutional “framing” not as solution of antagonisms (and thus the cancelation of politics) but as the opposite: the endorsement and enabling of conflict.

"Ecuador Unframed" is organized around the production of academic scholarship and an art exhibit with the collaboration of Laura Fernández, Santiago Quintero, and Paola Uparella (graduate student research assistants); Andrei Jorza (Assistant Professor of Mathematics, consultant); Tatiana Botero (Associate Professional Specialist), in conjunction with Notre Dame Center for Arts & Culture (Faculty Fellow Gilberto Cárdenas, Professor of Sociology).

Tatiana Botero, Elena Mangione-Lora, Rachel Rivers Parroquín and Andrea Topash-Ríos (Associate Professional Specialists) are coordinating a national tour of the exhibit and a series of pedagogical activities. The installation will be featured at the Notre Dame Center for Arts & Culture (September–October 2014), Vanderbilt University (November 2014 –January 2015), Western Kentucky University (February 2015), Assumption College (February–March 2015), and the Universität Zürich and Université de Genève, Switzerland (Fall 2015).