artist, researcher, and writer, Lima
Miguel A. López (born 1983) is an artist, researcher, and writer. He studied Photography at the Center of Photography, Lima (2002−2005) and was scholarship holder of MACBA’s Independent Study Program (PEI), Barcelona (2008–2009). In 2007 he worked at the Oficina de Artes Visuales as a curator for the main two public art galleries in Miraflores, Lima: Sala Luis Miró Quesada Garland and Sala Raúl Porras Barrenechea. He co-curated the exhibitions Subversive Practices. Art under Conditions of Political Repression. 60s–80s/South America/Europe, Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart, 2009 and Trafó Galéria, Budapest, 2010; and La Persistencia de lo Efímero. Orígenes del no-objetualismo peruano: ambientaciones/happenings/arte conceptual (1965–1975), Spanish Cultural Center, Lima, 2007, among others. He is a regular contributor to Ramona and Artecontexto and has written for Afterall, Papers d’Art, and Papel Alpha, among others. López is co-author of Post-Ilusiones. Nuevas visiones. Arte crítico en Lima, 1980–2006 (2007) and was an editor of the Peruvian contemporary art magazine Prótesis(2003–2005). Since 2007 he is a member of the editorial group of the art and politics magazine des-bordes and of the group Red Conceptualismos del Sur. Previously he was a member of Espacio La Culpable, Lima (2006–2008). López lives and works in Lima.
During his residency at BAK, López continues his ongoing research project into some critical artistic experiences in the 1980s in Peru, during the violent civil war between the clandestine left, the self-proclaimed Communist Party of Peru the “Shining Path,” and the Peruvian state (1980–2000). It explores how aesthetics and visual culture act in response in that particular context, to create experimental and critical manifestations about the current political situation. During his stay in Utrecht López focuses on the artistic work of German artist Helmut Psotta and the collective led by him, Grupo Chaclacayo, formed with Sergio Zevallos and Raúl Avellaneda in 1983. The group established themselves on the margins of the city of Lima, working through actions and performances that intertwined reflections on the Peruvian colonial legacy, authoritarianism, religion, violence, racism, legality, and sexual disobedience. Although the group’s collective work was almost ignored in the local scene, their little-seen visual output became one of the most important references of political reflection and, for that same reason, one of the most repressed and publicly rejected. This research project by López, initiated in 2008 (with Peruvian historian and researcher Emilio Tarazona), comprises the first major research on the collective work of Grupo Chaclacayo and its archive, located in Germany since 1988, when the group moved to Europe because of political repression. This research is also part of the ongoing work of the group Red Conceptualismos del Sur, which considers some antagonistic practices in Latin America during the period from the 1960s to the 1980s.